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Jaguar XJ220 turns 20

 Jaguar XJ220 turns 20
Jaguar XJ220 01.2.2012

Celebrating an icon

Twenty years ago, Jaguar introduced a legend - the XJ220.

Originally unveiled as a concept at the 1988 British Motor Show, the car was quickly approved for production a year later.

Featuring styling by Keith Helfet, the model was powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine with 550 PS (405 kW / 542 hp) and 475 lb-ft (643 Nm) of torque. It was connected to a five-speed transmission which enabled the 1,470 kg (3,241 lbs) supercar to accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than four seconds and hit a top speed of 213 mph (343 km/h).

When the first XJ220 was sold in 1992, it stickered for £470,000 ($744,170 / €565,750). This doesn't sound all that bad considering the upcoming C-X75 will cost between £700,000-£900,000 ($1.1-$1.4 million / €842,575-€1,083,310).

By the time production ended in 1994, a total of 275 XJ220s had been built.

Source: Jaguar

Marking 20 Years Since The Launch Of The Jaguar XJ220

The XJ220 remains the fastest Jaguar ever produced and when launched in 1992 and, at 213mph, had the highest maximum speed of any production car. Constructed using advanced aluminium honeycomb, the car was immensely strong and, despite its size, weighed just 1,470 kg.

Originally conceived as a concept car, the XJ220 debuted at the 1988 British Motor Show. Designed by Keith Helfet, the car was signed off for production in December 1989 with TWR selected as the partner for the project.

Powered by a 3.5-litre, twin turbo V6, the XJ220 channelled its drive through the 18-inch Speedline rear wheels shod in specially developed 345/35 Bridgestone Expedia tyres via a five-speed gearbox and an AP Racing twin-plate clutch. The XJ220 developed 550 PS and 475 lbs ft of torque to allow it to accelerate to 60mph in under four seconds. Braking was supplied by a set of AP Racing discs and four pot callipers.
Built by hand in an all-new factory in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, prototype 001 was completed in 1990 while car 002 achieved 186 mph at Bruntingthorpe in September of the same year. The first customer car was completed in June 1992 with a retail price of £470,000.

Production ceased in 1994, by which time 275 cars had been built.

The silver car in attendance at the recent Jaguar Experience Day held at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon is chassis 004, one of 10 pre-production vehicles. This example was used for extensive tyre and high speed testing at Fort Stockton, Texas, in 1991. Andy Wallace achieved a maximum speed of 213 mph in the car during the testing process.

Once these duties were completed the car was converted to race specification and was campaigned by Justin Law in the British GT Cup. On being retired from racing it was returned to its standard, road-going specification.

The yellow car is an XJ220 S - chassis '220-803'. This is the very first XJ220 S, built using spare parts from the Le Mans cars, including single-piece carbon fibre front and rear clamshells, revised springs and dampers and a claimed 700 PS. The luxurious interior of the road car was dropped in favour of Kevlar bucket seats and pared down, carbon trim.

The car was unveiled at the Autosport Show in 1993.

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Comments (8)

Tacoboy
Would be nice if they built a modern version of the XJ220, make it light weight (lots of Carbon fiber, lighter then the XK, but use the XK's supercharged V8 engine (or replace supercharger with twin turbos) and 7 speed dual clutch. The XJ220 is 500kgs/800lbs lighter then the current XK.
Feb 3, 2012 3:05 am
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xoff
why the Ford Cortina arial on a timeless exotic?
Feb 2, 2012 3:01 pm
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DdW
When I was a child, I have a small dark red scale model of this supercar. Many years later when I attended the 2008 Hong Seh 40th Anniversary showcase (http://www.worldcarfans.com/community/410051732047/memory--lane---2008-hong-seh-40th-anniversary-showcase), I spotted one immaculate showroom example in silver. That was my first and last chance I saw this modern classic. Happy B'day to Jaguar XJ220!
Feb 2, 2012 9:59 am
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katsudon88
Gotta love those "pop-down" headlamps.
Feb 2, 2012 9:37 am
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swifthead
the Jag XJ220 and Bugatti EB110 and McLaren F1 was my favourite supercars of the 90's :)
Feb 2, 2012 6:02 am
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ayoub
i cant forget about this Classic Jaguar . and just thinking what has happen to it by now ????? pls look it up here on http://www.worldcarfans.com/110040925594/jaguar-xj220-left-to-perish Classic Jaguar in LeMans Blue normally worth over £100,000 (€115,000) This story comes to us courteous of CrankAndPiston.com writer Phil McGovern who covers the Middle East for the auto mag. Taken in the Qatari desert, these photos of a Jaguar XJ220 left to languish at the mercy of the elements are wrenching to any lover of the model. The XJ220 was a mid-engined sports car developed by Jaguar in partnership with Tom Walkinshaw Racing. It premiered in 1988 as a concept car and was produced between the years 1992 and 1994. Only 281 were ever made. The 220 moniker stems from the car's top-speed goal of 220 mph which it came close to reaching. The production version was rear-wheel drive that came with 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 generating 542 bhp (404 kW) and 645 Nm (476 lb-ft) of torque. Quite different from the concept version which was fitted with a 6.2 liter engine with 500 bhp (370 kW) and an all-wheel drive system. For a brief time it held the record as the fastest production car with a top speed of 350 km/h (217 mph). The car remains a classic and existing models usually sell for around £100,000 (€115,000). This one, with its faded LeMans Blue paint, has likely lost a lot of its value. Even if it has only 900 km on the odometer. Ouch! The circumstances behind the abandoned supercar are quite vague, but check out the Jalopnik source link below for Phil McGovern's account. Read more: http://www.worldcarfans.com/110040925594/jaguar-xj220-left-to-perish#ixzz1lCqwU5fm
Feb 2, 2012 2:19 am
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RAPTOR77
Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall, the XJ220 was the devil incarnate, without any enhancements. No ABS, power steering, etc.. Pure power that can tame only a few ...
Feb 1, 2012 8:24 pm
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4everRS
Adjusted for inflation (cpi), 744k is 1.3 mil. in todays dollars. That xj220 was way beyond it's time. Great car. More power and torque than the current GTR, with less displacement. From 20 years ago. That's incredible. The real question for Jag - What happened?
Feb 1, 2012 8:07 pm
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