The XJ Spider was designed by Pininfarina for the 1978 British Motor Show. In 1978, the XJS was being subjected to persistent criticism; of which legendary coachbuilder Pininfarina was taking note. It seems Jaguar, was reacting to the Italian Carozzeria’s intention of creating its own interpretation of an E-Type successor by granting it one of the XJS development cars.
With underpinnings in place, the formidable trio of Leonardo Fioravanti, Sergio Pininfarina and Renzo Carli went about designing the bodywork. They reverted to the oval-shaped front air-intake of the E-Type, and dropped the box lines of the XJS in favour of the more bulbous curves of the original. The three also gave the car a huge boot to maximise grand touring potential.
Underneath the bodywork was the 5343cc V12 of the donated XJS, which produced 284bhp and was mated to a five-speed gearbox. Despite sharing the same chassis, the Pininfarina XJ Spider was shorter, wider and rode lower than the XJS, giving it sportier intentions.
Despite the reputable modern-day offerings of the Jaguar portfolio, the firm is still yet to attempt to resurrect the E-Type.
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