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The Jaguar XJ Series 2 was introduced in 1973 offering a number of refinements and updates to the XJ Series 1. The Series 2's front bumper was raised to meet US crash safety regulations, necessitating a revision to the front end styling featuring a smaller grille. Apart from this the exterior of the Series 2 was much the same as the Series 1 with some subtle revisions to badging and bootlid trim.The interior received a substantial update including a simplified heating and air conditioning system which replaced the complex but not very effective Series 1 system.

Both Daimler and Jaguar badged versions were marketed at the same time. The 4.2 litre XK engine for the XJ6 and the 5.3 litre V12 engine for the XJ12 were continued. A 3.4 litre version of the XK engine became available as from 1975. In that same year the V12 engine XJ12L models got the addition of Bosch electronic fuel injection replacing the Zenith-Stromberg carburettors. In 1978 the 4.2 litre six-cylinder XJ6L models intended for the North American market also benefitted from this technology .

Although a few early Series 2s came with the standard-wheelbase the range standardised around the long-wheelbase platform after Jaguar announced the withdrawal of the standard-wheelbase version in 1974. However, the two-door XJ coupe, which was launched a year earlier, retained the shorter standard-wheelbase remaining in production until 1977.

During the Series 2 production run Jaguar was part of the British Leyland group. The Series 2 suffered from poor build quality attributed to labour union relations issues that plagued most of industrial England during this period. However, the production count managed to exceed 91,000 units by the time the Series 2 was discontinued in 1979.