Conceived as a comfortable and long-legged Grand Routier, rather than an out-and-out sports car like the preceding E-Type, the XJ-S debuted at the 1976 Frankfurt Motor Show as a V12-powered coupé, with six-cylinder and soft-top versions following in the 1980s. One of the most important developments in the evolution of the V12-powered XJ-S was the introduction of the HE (High Efficiency) engine in 1981. Incorporating new 'Fireball' cylinder heads, designed by Swiss engineer Michael May, this more fuel-efficient unit enabled the top-of-the-range XJ-S to meet tighter worldwide emissions legislation. Combined with a higher (2.88:1) final drive ratio, the result was an improvement in fuel consumption of up to 20% at some engine speeds, a figure of 27.1mpg being claimed at a constant 56mph and 22.5 at 75mph. It's worth noting that these figures applied to the automatic transmission version, which with a top speed of 155mph was world's the fastest 'slush pumper'.
The automatic XJ-S offered here is one of the very first of these improved V12 HE models equipped with Fireball cylinder heads and the substantially revised interior introduced at the same time. This immaculate example was supplied new by Stratstone London and then exported to Jersey by the first owner. In 1985, it was sold to the second owner, a senior director with Nat West, Guernsey, who later retired with it to the Isle of Man. In 2001 the car was sold to the third owner having covered 21,000 miles by that time.
In 2010 the vehicle was brought back to the mainland by a renowned Jaguar specialist and subsequently acquired by the current owner for his small private collection. Since then the Jaguar has only been used for 'special' days and always safeguarded within professional classic car storage. The mileage to date is 31,900. Accompanying documentation includes the original handbook, service book, Supercover guide and sales brochure; Jersey and Isle of Man registration documents; sundry service bills; current MoT certificate; and Swansea V5C document. Described as in generally excellent condition, the car is currently taxed and comes complete with an unused Jaguar toolkit and spare keys.