Journal: Which V12 GT Coupe is for You?

Which V12 GT Coupe is for You?

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
March 19, 2013
21 comments

Two doors, four seats, twelve cylinders and a lot of leather—it’s a simple recipe that makes for perhaps the most indulgent of all automotive delights, the multi-cylinder GT car. The first rule of any cuisine is to use quality ingredients, and both our featured cars start with the smoothest and most prestigious of all engine configurations, a V12. Wrapped in delicately shaped and elegant bodywork, the style of each reflects the taste of its own unique national character.

The Jaguar is quintessentially British, full of idiosyncratic and hand-made looking details. Its graceful flying buttresses, veneer-laden interior, chrome fittings, aromatic leather and wool carpet all contribute to a very warm, very human personality—call it perfectly imperfect. Of course, old world style charm also means old world style reliability, or rather distinct a lack of it—high reward by way of high maintenance.

The BMW is also strongly reminiscent of the culture that bred it. Its modern, forward-thinking style and high-tech approach in stark contrast to the Jag’s decidedly old-fashioned way. Teutonic build quality and attention to detail mean efficient ergonomics and a billet-hewn feel of integrity. Any pillarless coupe is cool in our books, let alone one with pop-up headlights and a twelve cylinder engine.

We like to sum-up the differences between the two like this: the Jag’s a tufted chesterfield with a soft patina, while the Bimmer’s a freshly-restored Eames lounge chair. The question is, which do you find more comfortable?

1991 BMW 8-Series

Click here for the BMW details.

1989 Jaguar XJS

Click here for the Jaguar details.

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vedant12345Mike AldridgePierreDjordje SugarisLeon Prinsloo Recent comment authors
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vedant12345
vedant12345

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Mike Aldridge
Mike Aldridge

Kinda hard to choose really, both really nice cars.

Minor nit-pick though: they’re not flying buttresses, they’re just buttresses. The Maserati Bora had flying buttresses, a there’s a gap in there. The jag would like pretty silly with flying buttresses.

Pierre
Pierre

Owning both of them; one is a convertible reviewed by Lister when new, changing horrible gm automatic gearbox for a 5 speed getrag, improving cooling, rear axle making this car impressive , the other is manuel 6 speed gearbox 850 Ci with which long trips are so cool and comfortable.

The jag engine is amazing freed from GM automatic gearbox
The bmw s handling is precise

But …. both of them are far away behind the Porsche 928 GT, about same power but less inertia and perfect handling.
Honestly I will never sale any of these pieces of art.

Djordje Sugaris
Djordje Sugaris

Jaguar XJC is always a good idea too.

Leon Prinsloo
Leon Prinsloo

As much as I love the Jag and even had the good fortune of using one for a few weeks many years back, I would take the 850i/csi. Always loved the look, feel, and design ethos. Are those not the coolest popup headlamps ever?

moltimedia
moltimedia

The Jaguar XJ! But in the Lynx Eventer edition please. Love the Shooting Brake concept, a fast GT with room for the dog 🙂

cardyjones
cardyjones

this is like deciding which STD you’d rather have.

the bummer is kind of a reminder of everything wrong with the 90s.

the jag is more of a reminder of everything right about the 70s/80s.

Gavin
Gavin

I’ll take the Jag, but prefer V12 coupe goodness in the form of a Ferrari 400i.

William Litten
William Litten

From the ebay listing, LIES! “[i]The V12 engine is very quick and responsive. It is reliable, easy to fix, and parts are readily available.[/i]” Regardless I would still take the Jag, it has way more personality. If only I could rip out and replace all of the electronics.

Matthew Kolabinski
Matthew Kolabinski

The Bimmer.

No question. Even with almost double the mileage, the 8 wins. Wanna know why? Dat car phone.

That car phone be gettin’ you bitches.

Derek Scott
Derek Scott

Appreciating the correct use of “car phone” not “cell phone”. Remember when they all used to be called car phones?

Joseph DArco
Joseph DArco

My Dad has an 96′ 850ci that I grew up with and have always loved and hope to inherit one day. He drives it sparingly but it hasn’t had any major problems so far.

Soren
Soren

Pop up head lights? Check
Ostentatious color? Check
BMW badge? Check
Nothing leaping out of the bonnet? Check
Reliability? Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHAHAno
The problem, or at least my problem, with the jag is the chome. It’s looking pretty disco and I kind of hate that, and it still looks like it comes with a whiff of old fart.

Inigo Loy Colmenar
Inigo Loy Colmenar

Mercedes did offer a V12 in the 600SL and SEC

Terrence Dorsey
Terrence Dorsey

Heart says Jag. Brain says Bimmer. Quiet voice in my head says “What about a Ferrari 400i?”

BiTurbo228
BiTurbo228

Definitely the Jag. If I’m going to have something finicky and complex, I’m going to get it from the people who had been doing finicky and complex for decades.

Also, this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9jSemMyACA

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Like the M6 / 928 question a tough call as I like both the Jag and the 8. Based purely on the adverts selected I would pick the 8 as I’m not keen on the thicker bumpers and 4 headlights of the US spec XJS. Incidentally the ad says the XJS has a four speed auto, I would want to check that as the XJS V12 didn’t get a 4 speed auto until the 91 restyle AFAIK?

Sid
Sid

The 8. I’ve been very tempted on a more than a few occasions by an 8 Series but I am scared off by the maintenance costs.

Shane Elliott
Shane Elliott

Definitely the 8. Perfect colour too. I’m biased though. I used to drive one.

Xander Cesari
Xander Cesari

I’ve been jonesing for an XJS for many years now. I think the flying buttresses are very stylish, as is the expanse of flat trunk between them. The front end isn’t quite as nice as the XJ12 or XJC but it has ’80s charm. What kept me away wasn’t reliability but the fun to MPG ratio.

Nate Turnage
Nate Turnage

I have been lusting for a early 90s 8-series since I saw them at the local car show as a young teenager. The most perfectly designed coupé of that era.

Off to check Craigslist right now.