2000 Jaguar XKR 4.0 Convertible X100
The first owner of this 2000 Jaguar XKR 4.0 Convertible X100 ordered every optional extra available resulting in a highly specified and quite possibly unique example.
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL WALTON
MODEL PROFILE XKR 4.0 CONVERTIBLE
We sample an unusual example of the X100 Convertible whose first owner ticked every option in the brochure.
As a mass-produced vehicle, it’s hard to imagine there would be such a thing as a unique example of the X100 generation of XK. Yet of the 90,374 produced between 1996 and 2005, I doubt there’s another that’s identical to this XKR 4.0. Not only are the body and convertible roof in two very different colours but the first owner specified almost every optional extra available resulting in an expensive and potentially one-off model.
By being first registered in May 2000 the car is a late pre-facelift example of the XKR 4.0 convertible. The first owner specified an unusual colour scheme of Mistral with a light beige hood. And instead of the darker maple veneer that was fitted as standard to the XKR, he also requested the lighter walnut of the normally aspirated XK8 model that was a no cost option. Everything else ordered, though, did have a value including the 20in split rim-style Detroit wheels and the uprated Brembo braking system which together cost £4300.
He also specified the cold climate pack which consisted of heated front seats and windscreen (£510), plus the memory pack for the steering column, driver’s seat, and door mirror (£1330), the premium Harman Kardon ten-speaker audio system (£870) and the Motorola StarTAC mobile phone stored in the centre armrest (£890).
According to a Jaguar price list from the time, rather curiously the only item omitted was the front cupholder ootion. Perhaps the £65 asking price tipped them over the edge.
Because with the XKR convertible costing £67,005 in 2000, the several options made the car’s final price a whopping £74,905. Considering a Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet 996 was exactly the same price and the Mercedes-Benz SL500 R129 just £6k more, it was relatively expensive for a Jaguar, even a supercharged one.
More interestingly, it was two grand more than the limited edition XKR Silverstone which had been announced earlier in the year and had many of the same options such as the BBS wheels, Brembo brakes and premium sound system. With only 100 available in the British market, split 50/50 between coupes and convertibles, perhaps one wasn’t available when the first owner came to order this car. Or maybe the answer is far simpler and they just didn’t like silver which was the only colour offered for the Silverstone. The XKR’s unusual colour scheme of metallic blue and light beige roof would heavily suggest this. Yet despite the high purchase price, the first owner kept the car for a mere two years, after which it was sold to an associate director of Coventry City Football Club who perhaps bought it due to the body colour matching the team’s home shirt.
In January 2010 he saw an advert in the wanted section of a national daily newspaper for someone looking for an XKR convertible. The small ad had been placed by long-term Jaguar enthusiast, Mike Hampton, who always liked the X100 but waited until they’d become affordable until he looked to buy one. “I realised I could have a supercar for Ford Mondeo money,” he tells me when I visit him to see the car.
The then owner called Mike saying he owned the very car that you are looking for and he must must be a true Jaguar enthusiast to actually advertise in this way. But following a Mk2 3.4, 420, XJ6 Series 3 4.2, and X300 XJ6 4.0, this would be his fifth. Mike had originally been looking for a post-August 2000 example when the V8’s original and often problematic Nikasil liners were replaced with steel, but since he liked the colour, the extended specifications and the fact it had covered just 34k miles, he couldn’t turn this one down.
He also owns the low mileage 1988 Jaguar XJ40 3.6 we featured in our Spring 2023 issue and it was during the photo shoot that we discovered the XKR which, thanks to its many optional extras, sounded like an interesting car. It doesn’t disappoint. Not only has the mileage increased by a mere 13k miles resulting in a close to perfect condition, but although the Mistral together with the light beige roof (that’s tan to you and me) might not be an obvious choice I reckon the combination works surprisingly well. It’s certainly more interesting than a dark blue hood the majority of buyers would have ordered and shows the bravery of that first owner.
It helps the oyster-coloured wheels are a similar if lighter hue as the roof tying it all together. A development of those fitted to the one-off XK180 concept from 1998, at the time the 20in BBS Detroits were the biggest wheels ever fitted to a production Jaguar. By filling arches, their size gives the car more of an aggressive stance than X100s fitted with 17in or even 18in rims.
Although the dash features the same colour of walnut veneer as the entry XK8, since the XKR in both open and closed form was £9350 more than the normally-aspirated model, Mike reckons it’s of a better quality. It certainly looks to be richer, warmer, and thicker than the wood that’s fitted to my own XK8 4.0 coupe which is just five months younger. Although the rest of the interior looks standard, Mike points to the memory settings for the seat, mirror, and steering column plus where he reckons the ten-speakers are but with most of them hidden under the trim, it’s not exactly clear where they’re located. If I was the first owner, I’d be wondering where my money had gone.
At least when he opened the centre armrest and found the StarTAC flip phone he must have thought money well spent. For those under the age of 25, mobiles weren’t the rite of passage they are today and having one in a car would still have been a reasonably big deal. Although not connected to a network, I still feel like I’m in a science fiction film from the 1970s when I release the handset from the cradle and pull its long curly wire to my ear.
Costing the best part of a grand in 2000, it was an expensive option hence why the only other X100 I’ve seen with a phone is my own XK8 (which also doesn’t work). It’s these costly options that resulted in a high purchase price together with the slightly unusual colour scheme which are why I reckon the car is unique. If anyone owns an identical car, Mike and I would be surprised but we’d love to know about it. But due to its good looks and unusually high levels of specification, even if it does have a twin, it won’t detract from the car’s desirability.
Thanks to: The car’s owner, Mike Hampton, and Mount Pleasant Hotel, Doncaster
ABOVE: The first owner went right through this and ticked everything.
BELOW LEFT. Motorola flip phone is a superb period piece