An XJR-S for the USA Market (aka ‘XJR-S Asprey’)
Late in 1992 Jaguar announced the intention of marketing the JaguarSport XJR-S for the North American market. The big surprise was the introduction of a convertible model, for that market only. It was announced that 50 coupes and 50 convertibles were to be built, with half being in black and the other half being red.
At first sight the decision to build a convertible version of the XJR-S limited to one market seems rather strange. However, presumably the thinking behind this was that the USA was Jaguar’s biggest market and convertibles outsold coupes there, being two thirds of the market.
The new model was first illustrated in Great Britain in “Autocar/Motor” magazine 30 December 1992 and the car made its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 1993. The new car appeared alongside XJ13 prototype racer which had been flown over especially for the show.
In America details of the new JaguarSport car (the first model to be introduced in the States) were given in USA Jaguar brochures from the Autumn of 1992. A range brochure (JAG 350402) featured the XJR-S together with the mainstream production XJS.
MAIN FEATURES OF THE NEW MODEL
The car had the 6 litre V12 engine, said to produce 318 bhp, controlled by a unique to this model Zytek Engine Management System.
Dual fuel pumps were fitted, as per the European version.
The auto gearbox was the GM400 with recalibrated valve body.
Wheels were 8”x16” Parkfield style alloys.
The suspension was tweaked with sport road springs and Bilstein shock absorbers plus a revised steering rack and rear suspension bushes.
The exhaust system was unique with twin catalytic converters on each pipe from the exhaust manifold.
The interior wood was unique being walnut sapwood. The interior trim was different according to which paint colour was applied to the exterior.
Signal Red cars had cream autolux interior and Jet Black cars had warm charcoal interior.
Trims for the convertibles were:- beige convertible top, barley dashboard, coffee carpets, rattan trunk carpet and doeskin headlining on Signal Red cars.
Jet Black convertibles had a black convertible top, black dashboard, smoke grey carpets (passenger area and trunk) and saville grey headlining.
A unique feature of the 100 cars was a hand engraved sterling silver plaque by Asprey of London on the centre console, just ahead of the gearlever. This was inscribed with the particular car number in the series 1-100. It has been said that the model was officially called the “Asprey” but I have not seen this in any Jaguar literature relating to this model.
CHASSIS/V.I.N NUMBER IDENTIFICATION
Coupes- SAJSW534*PC (serial number)
Convertibles-SAJSW434*PC (serial number)
*=Check digit 0-9
An example is SAJSW5340PC 186491, being a coupe advertised for sale this year.
What needs to be stressed is that it is the “S” which is the important character – while the other characters may be found on Jaguars which share similar specification details, the S which follows “SAJ” is unique to the XJR-S.
The listing I have is for 48 of the 100 and further information would be most welcome from those in the know in the United States.
This particular version of the XJR-S did not last very long as no more than the original 100 were exported to the U.S.A. A small number of pre-production prototypes were of course made by Jaguar. So, with a very short production run this must be one of the rarest of Jaguar models.
Foot note: It may be of interest to some that I have a copy of the official JaguarSport Product Support Manual for the car and this includes detailed information on the Engine Management system including engine set-up data, and also a parts listing including part numbers.
Incidentally, the JaguarSport body styling kit and Speedline alloy wheels were an option on U.S.A XJ-S cars before 1993 according to a brochure I have, issued by Jaguar Cars, Mahwah. The brochure is illustrated by a black convertible…………. a taste of things to come !!!
Photographs reproduced by kind permission of JIM GRADY, CEO MAX MEDIA GROUP U.S.A.
Text supplied by Michael Scott, February 2011