For fifteen years, the elegant Jaguar XJ 12 was to remain the only four-door in the world with a prestigious twelve-cylinder engine.
To the reputation as a builder of fine bodies, the British went well in advance. Before the new 253-hp engine was installed in the luxury sedan, the sporty Jaguar E-Type drivers came into the enjoyment. Infatuated with the stunning „figure“ of the E-Type, they were also patient testers. By the time the teething troubles of the new V12 engine were eradicated and the engine could be installed in the distinguished XJ 12, it took almost a year. The upscale XJ 12 clientele did not want to be sent onto the road with the new engine, but the E-Type driver took it with sporty serenity.
The world premiere of the Jaguar XJ 12 Mark 1 took place on July 27, 1972.
The XJ 12 is the successor of the XJ with six-cylinder engine. In essence, the external appearance is retained. Only a few details make the V12 recognizable. The grille has 28 vertical struts with a wider center strut on the V logo emblazoned. The tail is decorated with the lettering XJ 12. The chassis is equipped with perforated disc wheels.
Even in the interior, hardly any hand was created. The elegant elegance is expressed in the abundant use of wood and leather. The armrests are as in the predecessor XJ 6 or the Daimler Sovereign. For particularly demanding customers, an even finer-equipped Daimler version and a long version of the XJ were also built.
The heart of the V12 is the engine with a Borg & Warner transmission.
The V12 engine was originally designed by Jaguar for racing purposes and later defused for civilian use. The approximately 500 hp were greatly reduced in favor of reliability and smoothness.
With one overhead camshaft, one remained true to the success concept of the XK engines. The rows of cylinders are arranged in a V-shape. Four Stromberg carburettors provide the fuel. With a displacement of 5307 cc and a power of 253PS / 5750 U7min the V12 reaches a top speed of about 225 km / h.
Disc brakes at the front and rear ensure a standstill. All four wheels are attached to independent wheel suspensions. At the front, an anti-dive support ensures better cornering and road holding during the braking process.
Two separate fuel tanks hold 91 liters of gasoline. Due to its special driving qualities, the appealing, classic shape and the silky smooth engine, the Jaguar XJ12 drove into the luxury upper class.
Of the Series 1 shown here, only about 1700 left-hand drive vehicles and about 600 right-hand drive vehicles were produced.
In 1973, due to the new American traffic safety regulations, the series 2 was launched on the market. This car is recognizable by the higher front bumper.