GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Jaguar XJ Sport 3.2

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green_xjsport.jpeg


Year: 1999 ````````````````````````````````````` Type: Luxury Sedan
 
Country of Origin: England `````````````````````````` Host: GT2
 
Price: $61,540
 
Length: 198" Width: 71" Height: 52"
Wheelbase: 114.5"
Front Track: 60.5" Rear Track: 60.8"
Ground Clearance: 5.5"
Overhang: @6' 11"
Weight: 3,769 lbs.
Tires: ?
Brakes: disc/disc
F. Suspension: coils / beam, twin wishbones / anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: double wishbones / coils / anti-roll bar
 
Engine displacement: 3.2 liter DOHC V8
Aspiration: supercharger
Layout: front engine / rear drive.
 
Tested HP: 241 @ 6,500 rpms
Tstd Torque:
233 @4,500 rpms
 
Lbs per hp: 15.64
Hp per Liter: 74.20
Credits per HP: $255.35
 
Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000
 
Transmission: 5-speed manual
 
0-60 mph: 8.3 seconds
0-100 mph: 19.6 seconds
 
400 M:   16.378 @ 91mph 
1 Kilom: 29.154 @ 117 mph
 
Top Speed at redline
1st: 28 mph
2nd: 82 mph
3rd: 118 mph
4th: 158.79mph @ 6,200 rpms
5th: N/A

  
 

-----------------------EXTERIOR-------------------------
 
At $61,540, the XJ Sport is the cheapest Jaguar one can buy in GT2! At 3,769 pounds, it's also one of the heaviest modern cars in the game.
 
Many modern luxury cars tend to be heavy, and this model from Jag is no exception, even though it's a "Sport". It is full of stuff  to pamper the driver: soundproofing material, plush seats that move around electrically, and a long, long list of creature comforts. All of which transforms the Sport's interior into a quiet zone fit to house a library, but all this also adds pounds. The only other luxury car that has a similar weight in GT2 is the Mercedes AMG E55, which coincidentally weighs exactly the same as the XJ Sport. Most other luxury sedans from BMW, Mercedes and America in our game typically weigh 200-300 pounds less than the Sport. This is important to take into consideration before entering the Luxury Sedan races, although skilled drivers can easily win these races with even a heavy Jag.
 
The car represented in the game has a long heritage. The XJ family runs back to the late '60s, matter of fact. Jaguar customers expect a lot more than just a fast car, they want one that is loaded with features and handles like a cream puff as well. Though the XJ Sport is a bit more performance-oriented than some of Jag's other models, it's still a luxury car first.. racing vehicle fourth or fifth. It's a shame some earlier Jaguars (like the E-type) aren't in GT2, these cars are actually more suited for racing are they not?
 
This Jag is 198 inches long and 71 inches wide, making it stable but also large and hard to maneuver at times. It is only 52 inches tall, with 5" of ground clearance, which isn't bad...at least the center of gravity is rather low for a sedan. One thing to watch for is the 7 feet of overhang, most of which is towards the rear of the car in the massive trunk (or ‘boot’ as the Brits call it). This makes it oversteer easily, which can cause fantastic replays if you can control it!
 
The Sport can be had in 16 different colors, most of which are subtle metallics, which is awesome. Although the XJ features styling that is outdated by a couple decades, the look of the car is at least very familiar. No one's gonna mistake it for a Chrysler or a Saab.
 

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--------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN----------------
 
The XJ Sport features what is basically a small-block DOHC V8 engine, 3,248 ccs in displacement, which also has a super-charger blasting expensive petrol thru the 32 valves below it once you get engine upgades.
 
Unlike some American V8s, this is a high-range motor. The redline is 6,500 rpm before modifications, but most of the power is created up in that area, anyways. Since max torque is around the mid-4,000 range, it's important to select a gearbox that hits this area to get maximum power and speed. The super-close gearbox is actually perfect for this car, though 5th gear won't be needed 'til the engine is heavily modified.
 
This car is disappointingly slow off-the-mark, with 241 hp (tested) and 233 ft-lbs. of torque at 4,500 rpms, tho it can acheive a decently high top speed while stock due to tall gears. All that weight in the back of the car, plus its wide Pirelli tires, really help to keep traction on the back wheels at the start of a race; though the throttle will still need to be treated gently once the engine's power is boosted.

There are 3 stages of super-charging available, and (of course) these parts wind up being expensive, but if you've got the money to afford a Jaguar, you're probably winning races and money regularly, anyways, right? This car got to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds and 100 in 19.6. Disappointing...see what I mean? Top speed of 158.79 mph (with 800 rpm to spare on the tachometer) is pretty good, though. This was in 4th gear, too. 5th is way too tall and wasn't needed for the Max Speed test. Taking weight off and adding better drivetrain parts are a great idea before we work on modifying that engine.
 

-------------CHASSIS / HANDLING-----------------
 
The XJ Sport features a wishbone suspension all around with slightly higher-than-normal spring rates (when compared to some other luxury sedans in GT2), tho it's still a mushy ride. I fully expected to see the springs set at 2.0 kg/mm when I looked at the specs, not 3.7 front and 3.0 rear. So, it's a good idea to start modifying the suspension early.
 
Body roll and unwanted weight transfer occur even at low speeds (like 60 mph on a twisty track). The folks in Coventry bred this cat for city and highway life, not flying thru hair-pin turns and bouncing over apex curbs! Any of the suspensions we buy after-market will do (including the sports one for those who are cash-strapped and haven't modified the engine much, yet). Sport tires are good too, as long as the engine is below Stage 1. After that, it's just a good idea to get slicks or the car will slide around like a bar of soap! I was surprised also to find that sport tires do as well as they do...the XJ barely understeers. This only changes if the driver starts pushing more exceptionally. I'm sure if this car made an apperance in GT3 or 4, certainly it would understeer more heavily. But understeer isn't so much of an issue in GT2, not in this car anyways. What is an issue is all that weight towards the rear, that large trunk or 'boot', as Brits call it. This you'll need to control no matter what level you're at with the engine's power.
 

So it's the rear that causes the most trouble. Hit a big bump, and the trunk will sometimes lift, destabilizing the car. Take a turn too fast, and the Jag's large trunk will try to cause a spin out with the ease of a ballerina, though slick tires really help a lot.
 
But all said, this luxury-liner of a car can be made to handle a lot more than you'd think, and all your friends will compliment or shun you once they see that you're now driving a status symbol instead of that crappy old Civic. And you didn't even have to finish college.
 
 
---------------------PROS--------------------------
 
1). 3.2 liter engine is relatively light weight (for a V8); doesn't add much front-end weight, and so therefore there isn't much entry or mid-corner understeer.
 
2). Lovers of oversteer / drifting will have a challenge with this car.
 
3). Supercharger upgrades help boost the Sport's average acceleration, though these upgrades are expensive.
 
4). Good top speed at 150 mph+ around the Test Track, even while the car is stock. Tall gearing helps here.
 
5). Wide Pirelli tires are effective for contolling this beast. You won't need to buy slicks right away if the engine isn't modified much.
 
6). Lots of imaginary leg room, creature comforts. Makes one just want to go for a spot of tea.
 
7). Lots of colors to choose from.
 
 
------------------CONS----------------------
 
1). Below-average performance / cost ratio for all the money spent.
 
2). Heavy car, even after weight reductions.
 
3). Below-average acceleration before modifications.
 
4). Haters of oversteer will wish they hadn't forked 60 grand out for this heavy, skittish cat.
 
5). Massive rear trunk makes the XJ Sport handle like a motorboat.
 
6). No racing bodywork for this one.
 

 

Originally Published July 6, 2004

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