Jaguar XJ220: the cat and the bad luck bird

Coventry (United Kingdom), 11. August 2017

Anyone who could inspire at that time, at least for cars, is it: The 1980s were a good decade for sports. Why the Jaguar XJ220 still only 25. Celebrates birthday? He just had a lot of bad luck.

The Plan

Actually, there was no Plan. The Jaguar XJ220 began as a classic after-work project of some engineers and designers. They were of the opinion that between the civilian car to the offer existed at the time, Ford belonging to the brand and the Jaguar race car (in Le Mans) is a gap. She thought of the times in which they roared with his C-Type to the track, won and again went back home. After the Considerations developed in the direction of a four-wheel drive Super sports car with a V12. Yet, even as Jim Randle, the chief designer of the XJ220, to the factory went, they had no official backing for the project. Therefore, everything went on the back burner. Only a week before the official debut, the Company gave their blessing. The XJ220 concept car was 18 in the morning hours of the. In October 1988 and finished, the day of its Premiere at the Birmingham Motor Show.

Where is the Name?

Similar to the 40 years previously presented XJ120 the number of the XJ220 related to the targeted top speed: 220 miles per hour, so 350 km/h. also, of Course, a nominal bridge to the XJ120 should be beaten.

Overnight success

After its unveiling, the Jaguar XJ220 was the Mega-attraction at the fair in Birmingham. Ferrari showed at the same place, a red F40, which was next to the "Jag" like a dinosaur. However, the "Saturday Club," as it was called, the developer of the XJ220 at the beginning, quite a super sports car such as the F40 and the Porsche 959. Jaguar itself had at first no intentions, the XJ220 sale. However, the blank cheques of some enthusiasts changed their opinion pretty quickly. Now a small-scale. For the UK, Jaguar in 1989, set a price of 290,000 pounds, to the reservation, the lover should count to 50,000 pounds. In spite of this immense sum of over 1,000 people shared their serious buying interest.

On the ground of reality

The future promise of the XJ220 bright prospects, but, behind the Scenes, the project became a logistical nightmare. In the case of Jaguar, the capacity for further development were missing, which is why you took advantage of an existing Motorsport Joint-Venture with Tom Wilkinshaw Racing (TWR). The engineers set to Work and studied comparative models such as the Porsche 959. Pretty quickly you tipped the all-wheel drive in favour of a simpler rear-wheel drive solution. This saves weight and should reduce the maintenance effort. Another big change was the engine: The was exchanged from the Motorsport-derived 6.2-Liter V12 against a V6 Biturbo engine with a displacement of 3.5 litres and 549 HP. The reasons are weight, space and emissions. But these substantial Changes vergrätzten some of the pre-order, especially since the final price was a total of 470,000 pounds, then the equivalent of more than a Million DM.

Chasing the speed crown

Even without a fat V12, the XJ220 was an impressive vehicle, in a way, the Bugatti Chiron of his time. Jaguar promised to 3.6 seconds to 100 km/h, but car magazine came in just 4.8 seconds. Much more focused on top speed, finally, the XJ220 had this to claim in the name. Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle, reaching 212 miles per hour (342 km/h), but was restricted by a Rev limiter. After this point has been removed, reaching to get to the magical 350 km/h. also, due to the Expansion of the catalysts made according to the then law, the XJ220 still road approved. In 1998, another British trumped the Jaguar: The McLaren F1 raced on 386 km/h on the Nürburgring, the XJ220 was a good figure, the Nordschleife lap was completed in 7:36,46 minutes.

Victory and defeat in Le Mans

1993 Jaguar sent three XJ220 race car for the 24-hour race at Le Mans. They were able to beat the Porsches in the GT class. But here, too, the XJ220 had the bad luck. It was discovered that the wagons were unlawfully taken without catalysts and disqualified you.

The Recession

In the early 1990s, the Supercar has burst-the bubble, exotic sports car dramatically lost value. So a Ferrari has been sold 250 GTO with a loss of 8.5 million pounds. The also got the XJ220 to feel, after the deliveries started in July 1992. Only 271 copies were built, far less than planned. Supposedly Jaguar has remained for years on non-XJ220 bought sit. Prominent owner Elton John and the Sultan of Brunei. The latter was a vehicle of Pininfarina rebuild.

A Phoenix from the ashes

Meanwhile, the Super-Jag has worked his way up from the valley floor and is a sought-after classic. No wonder, he is, however, rare and of historical importance for the Jaguar brand. Relative prices: Between € 300,000 and € 400,000 to invest. Far less than a Ferrari F40 or Porsche 959 cost. You just have to find a XJ220. Thanks to Bridgestone, the future of the XJ220 is secured: in 2016, the company announced that it plans to develop new tires for the super sports car, as the original tire size is available.(rh)