XK180 Base Car


Ideally an XJS or XK8/XKR which have the same wheelbase as the XJS at 102 inches.


With their V8 supercharged engines are the closest to the original XK180 spec., but remember you are not using any of their original refinements and a V8 engine can always be put into an XJS platform.

There are also potential issues with engine management systems and the fact they are automatic transmission as the original XK180 which used a five speed automatic transmission.Manual transmission conversions have been fitted to V8 Jaguar engines, but again encroach on the engine management system and the automatic being so effective it is debatable whether they are worthwhile.

XJS Choices:

XJS were made from 1975 to 1995, beginning with the pre HE V12, the V12 HE, 3.6 and 4 litre automatic and manual models, 6 litre V12 convertibles and cabriolets.Would you start off with a convertible or fixed roof car?

I would recommend the fixed roof car as there are many more of them, they are less expensive and all XJS are registered as Sports Convertibles.The fixed roof car is a lot easier to work around than the convertible.

Early Pre HE XJS:

These are prone to rust and are not the most reliable cars.They perform well, but the very first of them had a very old fashioned automatic gearbox, although 352 of these came with manual four speed gearboxes.

One of the advantages of this model is their speed with 150 miles per hour top speed and their silk smooth performance.Their age, as they are all over 30 years oldmay appeal in various parts of the world. 290 bhp.

V12 HE model:

From 1991 on, they were better quality than the Pre HE cars, more reliable and economical, although they never had manual transmission, just a three speed automatic gearbox.

3.6 Models:

Introduced in 1983 with a straight six AJ6 3.6 litre engine with 240 bhp.Initially with a five speed getrag transmission, then in 1986 the four speed automatic transmission.These cars are incredibly economical returning upto 35 miles to the gallon and 140 mile an hour plus performance.

Facelift Cars:

Introduced in 1991, 4 litre and 5.3 V12 engines, the main advantage being a galvanized body shell and outboard rear brakes. The later 4 litre having the new AJ16 six cylinder engine, which gave marginally more performance and economy and bullet proof reliability.It shared this engine with the XJR saloons which were supercharged.The V12 later became six litres and increased the bhp to 330 horse power.

In summary:

All XJS are good news except rusty ones, early Pre HE are good new because of their age, all V12 for their tuneable and power / iconic engine, 3.6 and 4 litre models for the economy and manual transmissions, late facelift cars as every aspect has been refined.

Or, you could start out with just an empty shell, they are still available new and install any engine transmission variant with the latest brakes, abs, ideal axle ratio.

I cannot add much more to this as the car you start with will not be the one you finish with!