These Boring New Cars Would Absolutely Obliterate a '92 Jaguar XJS V12 In a Drag Race

And yet, we'd still choose the Jag.


The 1992 Jaguar XJS came with an updated version of the company's venerable 5.3-liter V12, with 263 horsepower, 288 lb-ft of torque, and fancy Lucas digital fuel-injection. And what was it good for? Smooth motoring, but not what you'd call blistering acceleration.

MotorWeek tested a 1992 XJS V12 convertible and recorded a 0-60 mph time of 9.0 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 16.8 seconds. Yeah, that's rather slow by today's standards. That gorgeous Jag would get smoked by a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica () or Honda CR-V (). Even a lowly new Subaru Impreza () would beat it. And in a drag race between the Jag and a 2018 Hyundai Elantra, you should put your money on the Hyundai, which sprints to 60 in .

But, if you find yourself lined up at the drag strip next to a Toyota Prius don't worry—with , the Jag could take it easily.

So what good were those 12 cylinders? Well, for one thing, they had to move around lots of leather and wood. , a 1992 XJS Convertible weighs around 4200 lbs, so it's no surprise that fewer than 300 horses had some trouble getting it going. A three-speed automatic transmission designed for smoothness probably didn't help the Jag's straight-line acceleration either.

The 1992 XJS also shows how much progress we've made in the auto industry over the last 26 years. But none of this should diminish what is a really special car. The XJS is a characterful thing, and one of the last truly old-school Jags. And who needs to go quick anyway?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Vintage