Inline six vs V12 which is best?

Here we are, folks, discussing the Achilles heel of all XJS subjects where everyone and their mother's dog thinks that they are the authority on. Ok gents who like to pull on their lapels while looking down the edge of their nose while adding a little base in their otherwise squeaky high pitch castrato boys in the Roman choir voice and waring a Harris tweed blazer and a hat with miniature golf clubs and fishing poles attached to the band. A moment to catch my breath while the sound of crickets is singing.

Okay everyone put on your boxing gloves and assume your corner. We all have heard of the people who bought some of the early versions from 1975 to 1987 who proved they had no business with an XJS when they replaced the fine V12 motor with a Chevy V8. These people and their shade tree mechanic’s began to spread rumors that the V12 motor was inferior. Truth be told, the V12 motor was the superior actor on the stage. Sure it had a few little quirks but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater! So what makes one better than the other? Well, I guess it all depends on who you are speaking to and compared to what! Now whenever I drive one of my V12s, I feel like flexing my muscles as if I am preparing to arm wrestle with anyone driving another classic. You V12 folks know what I am talking about here. The compliments are abundant when driving any XJS but there is something extraordinary when receiving them in the V12 and that is not our fault by no means. It is those people who extend the compliments who are acting like the puppy who can't wait to hump an ankle when they see the badge! And the smoothness of the V12 is second to none. So by now, you have figured out that I am part of the puppy crowd when talking about the V12 experience. Therefore, I will stop there.

Because the only difference between the V12 and the inline-six is the driving experience, then why do so many feel that the inline-six is best? I have discovered that if you are engaged in a conversation long enough on this subject, it all becomes a matter of time and cost of maintenance. This was the reason many V12s were swapped out for the Chevy V8 because too many Americans had no respect for the brand and too cheap to do the proper thing for the car. If there were no statute of limitations, I would love to assume the position of Jaguar police and arrest them all, prosecute them and sentence them to Siberia in bathing suits for as many years as America's existence.  Now I am an American and was born and raised in New York but some people should get 500 lashes for such acts!

If one has the ware with all and fortitude to afford the V12 and maintain it properly, then I would suggest getting one if you which to join the puppy crowd but you should know that your display of acts of affection should be confined to your garage. When you drive out, the others do not have the honors of being cool so they have no choice but to drool. On the other hand, if you just want to keep it simple regarding maintenance, then the inline-six should satisfy your addiction. Either way, you are a member of royalty when owning an XJS. Now if there is anyone who dares to compare the XJS to any other car, I urge you to look up the temperatures in Siberia and remember I have an imaginary badge and authority and I am hiding behind every tree just waiting for you to pass by at any speed.


  • I’m thinking about the new 1969 XKe 2+2 convertible that was my baby before my wife and I had any, and my XJS 4.0 convertible.

    Now I’m putting on my bathing suit and my parker, and looking over my shoulder.
    Not sorry.

  • I have owned both the V12 and 3.6 XJS and have to say the v12 would be my choice providing it was serviced and maintained as it should be. lots of people buy these cars thinking they run forever with little or no thought about proper care then wonder why they are unreliable

    Bryan Thomas

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