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Jaguar XJ40 History
Throughout the 1970's Jaguar had been developing the classic Jaguar XJ40 which was an all-new model intended to replace the original XJ6. Due to problems at British Leyland and the fuel crisis, the car was continually delayed. Proposals from Jaguar's in-house designers and Pininfarina were received. Eventually it was decided an internal design would be carried through to production. This car was finally released in October 1986 with controversial square headlamps on all but the lowest specification, these were a lingering feature from the 1970s development. The car was considered more evolutionary than revolutionary, receiving improvements such as the second generation of Jaguar's IRS. It had to fight off a new competitor, the recently enlarged classic E32 7 series BMW.
While the British press favoured the Jaguar, the XJ40 tended to lose comparison tests run by German publications. Only six-cylinder models were initially offered: a 2.9 L and a 3.6 L. The V12 and a long wheelbase model, including a high-roofed Daimler Majestic model and destined for official use, were again delayed, being launched at the very end of the XJ40's life.
The delay in fitting the V12 engine was due to the design of the engine bay which was too narrow to allow a V formation engine, said to have been designed deliberately in that fashion as the designers feared that their parent company would insist use of an engine based on their widely-used Rover V-8. After Jaguar's takeover by Ford in December 1989, work began on redesigning the engine bay to accommodate the V12. Ironically, thanks to Ford, Jaguar was later to find itself back in common ownership with another part of the old Rover family, Land Rover, where they had previously been thanks to British Leyland. However, having since developed their own more modern V8, they saw the reverse happen with a version of their engine fitted to the now classic Land Rover models, from which the old Rover V8 was finally dropped.