2004 JAGUAR XKR ConvertibleView vehicle description
The late 1980’s was a turbulent time for Jaguar. The company had endured the collapse of its BL parent, privatisation, and finally the arrival new owners in the shape of Ford in 1989. Throughout this period of upheaval, the company were simultaneously wrestling with the wayward and rudderless XJ41 and 42 project – Jaguar’s attempt at replacing the long-serving and, belatedly, much improved XJS.
Ford still recognised the urgent need to replace the aging XJS, however, but had the foresight to scrap the meandering XJ41/42 project and so design work started afresh in late 1991. Ford’s experience and strict oversight, combined with a heavy reliance on components from the XJS, meant the XK8 was announced in March 1996, a huge achievement for an all-new sporting flagship.
Launched in Coupe and Convertible iterations the XK8 was well received from the start. The family resemblance to the E Type was almost universally welcomed and the fitment of the all new 4L, 32 valve AJ-V8 engine represented a statement of real intent by Jaguar.
That intent was underscored emphatically in 1998 with the arrival of the XKR. This high-performance derivative aimed to maximise the latent potential of the XK8’s highly accomplished chassis. An Eaton supercharger was fitted to the AJ-V8 engine, itself boasting a 2-litre capacity and delivering a shade under 12 Ibs of boost pressure. This upped the power output to a heady 370 bhp. 2002 bought still further enhancements to the XKR with the V8’s capacity increasing to 4.2L and power growing to a mighty 400 bhp.
The arrival of the XK8 marked the emergence of Jaguar’s first new sports car for 21 years. The development of the XKR, however, marked the arrival of significantly the fastest mainstream Jaguar ever.
This great looking XKR Convertible is a MY2004 car and, as such, is considered as something of a sweet spot in the evolution of the XKR with a number of significant improvements to the earlier cars all present here. This includes the larger 4.2L displacement and the later six-speed ZF automatic gearbox replacing the earlier 5-speed Mercedes Benz unit. With 400 bhp and over 400 Ib-ft of torque on tap the XKR offers almost physics-defying performance on demand. The directly shaft driven supercharger ensures an instant response of the type drivers of turbocharged equivalents can only dream of.
This XK8 appears to have been sympathetically and lightly used by five previous owners with the last owner believed to have cherished the car for around nine years. With a sensible, original mileage of under 81,000 and 9 stamps in the service book, we would expect this to be an XKR that has a lot more exhilarating road trips to take and enduring memories to make with its new owner.
On the Outside
With the XKR looking purposeful in its Midnight Black Metallic paintwork and sitting squarely on its big 20-inch BBS Paris alloys this is always going to be a head turning car of the highest order. With the black hood up or down the car manages to exude an air of power and sophistication. Perhaps the ultimate embodiment of the “iron fist in a silk glove” metaphor.
Not to forget this is an 18-year-old car, however, and one which has been used and enjoyed by its previous keepers. Consequently, there are a number of age-related blemishes and marks inevitably present. Our diligent photographer has worked hard to capture these in the comprehensive photographic package presented here. Examples include some minor bubbling to the offside front wing and some parking related scuffs and scratches to front and rear bumper extremities. The BBS split-rim wheels exhibit some lacquer or paint bubbling in places, and a light refurbishment may further enhance the presentation of the car.
Overall, this XKR is a well-presented example for its age and mileage. The paint exhibits a deep and lustrous shine throughout, and the panel gaps appear appropriately tight and symmetrical. The black, fabric hood presents in a good, used condition and features the heated, glass rear window which was a welcome innovation with the launch of the XK8.
On the Inside
With an interior designed in the early 1970’s the XJS’s interior was woefully behind the times by the end of its life, despite numerous revisions and upgrades. As a result, the pressure was on Jaguar to raise the bar in no uncertain terms with the interior treatment of the all new XK8 and XKR flagship sports cars. Jaguar did not disappoint with the new car’s interior drawing almost universal praise and plaudits for its quality and aesthetic appeal.
This example is no exception, being predominantly finished in Warm Charcoal soft grain, perforated leather. The high-backed front sports seats present in excellent condition with only a small area of colour loss being noted on the driver’s side bolster.
The charcoal carpets are deep pile and appear to be in excellent overall condition and have clearly benefitted from the protection afforded by the fitment of carpet over-mats. The dash is fronted with a stained bird’s eye maple veneer, accents of which extend to the door cards and centre console. The hood is lined in oatmeal fabric and appears to be free from rips with just some light marks evident from the operation of the quick acting hydraulic hood mechanism.
The XKR is, of course, a well-appointed car too with automatic climate control and heated front seats in evidence. The interior appears to be entirely original down to the factory fitted Jaguar cassette player with accompanying 6-CD changer mounted in the boot.
The boot is nicely finished in grey carpet and the original jack, wheels brace and tools are situated under the hinged floor. The space-saver spare wheel does appear to be missing, however.
It is easy to see why this interior was so well received. It manages to retain Jaguar’s signature “private club” ambiance whilst managing to exude an appropriately sporting feel. It’s comfortable and well-appointed giving today’s driver a true sense of piloting a British sports thoroughbred without compromising on comfort or equipment.
The AJ-V8 engine was new at the launch of the XK8 and was fitted to the lower volume sports car line to help establish its capability and longevity without the wider risk of a high-volume roll out.
Within a short period of time the engine had established itself as a winning design to the point that Jaguar were happy to fit a big Eaton supercharger to its for installation into the XKR performance variant. The big Eaton spins at 1.9 times the engine speed and, in this 4.2L engine, boosts power to an impressive 400bhp. That’s a competitive output today, let alone back in 2004 when this car was new.
Evidencing the 9 stamps in the service book and accompanying paperwork, this is well maintained and cared for example of the XKR Convertible. The last service was at 76,000 miles, around 4,000 miles ago providing the new owner with peace of mind that this car is ready to drive away and enjoy post auction.
The underside of the car appears to be appropriate to the car’s age and mileage with some superficial surface corrosion present as one might expect. Whilst clearly nothing to trouble the MoT tester, a new owner may want to address some areas with a cleaning and undersealing to help maintain the car’s current good condition.
This XKR comes with a good depth of provenance providing paperwork as you will see from our photographic package. Key documents include the current V5 and the original book pack in its Jaguar embossed leather folder.
The all-important service book contains 9 stamps from a mixture of Jaguar dealers and independent specialists. The current hard-copy MoT is also present. Various user manuals are on-hand ensuring the new owner will have access to all the information needed to get the most out of the XKR experience. There are also two original keys included.
What We Think
In years to come, being the owner of a supercharged Jaguar V8 with an electrically operated hood and 20-inch wheels will be an anecdote of “something to tell the Grandchildren” proportions. The XKR is a milestone Jaguar without doubt, marking the return of a confident and audacious maker of world class sports cars following a decade of turbulence, upheaval, and uncertainty for the marque.
This example looks great with its lustrous Midnight Black Metallic paintwork and big BBS, split-rim 20-inch wheels making it a car to be seen and to enjoy being seen in.
Inevitably there are some areas of potential further improvement for a new owner to address, if they wish, given the age of the car. These are all relatively easy projects that can be done at a new owner’s leisure should they wish, whilst still being able to enjoy the numerous charms of this fine example of the ultimate British sports GT.
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- Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: Trade
- Odometer Reading: 80938
- Chassis Number: SAJAC42R943A39905
- Engine: 4200cc
- Gearbox: Auto
- Steering position: Right-hand drive
- Colour: Black
- Interior: Black/Leather
- Estimated Price: £10,000 - £14,000