From 1990 to 2007, Jaguar Cars was owned by Ford. Under Ford, Jaguar came out with two supercars. From 1990 to 1992, Jaguar produced the XJR-15, a mid-rear engine supercar that had a 6.0L V12 and reached a top speed of 1991. Only 50 XJR-15s were made. In 1992, Jaguar released the XJ220, a supercar that reached a top speed of 217 mph, a record for the fastest street-legal production car. Jaguar XJ220 held the speed record until 1994, when the McLaren F1 was released. Only 281 XJ220s were produced from 1992 to 1994. With the XJ220, Jaguar promised a rear-mid engine supercar with a V12 and all-wheel drive. However, the Jaguar XJ220 had a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and two wheel drive. The change in the drivetrain was allegedly caused by a judgement that a 6.2L V12 engine would be too difficult to meet increasingly strict emission standards. The XJ220 is the first Jaguar to have a V6 engine. Many customers were not happy with the changes made to the XJ220. They filed a lawsuit against Jaguar and lost. Actually, the twin-turbocharged V6 engine produced more horsepower than the planned 6.2 V12 engine. The XJ220 exceeded the planned goals of 200 mph.
I recently saw a Jaguar XJ220 at the 2011 Houston Classy Chassis: Concours d’Elegance. This is another car I admired from my childhood. At the time I was oblivious to the promise drivetrain of the XJ220 and the actual drivetrain of the XJ220. This car stood out at Classy Chassis. In 1992, it looked futuristic, and today I still has futuristic design. Nothing on the road looks like the Jaguar XJ220. I like its sleek, futuristic design and it looks fast.
The Jaguar XJ220 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6, paired with a five-speed manual transmission, that produces 542 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque. The planned 6.2L V12 was going to have 500 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The XJ220 went from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, 0 to 100 mph in 7.3 seconds, and reached a top speed of 217 mph. The planned XJ220 was going to have the following performance: 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 8.0 seconds, and a top speed of 200 mph. The planned XJ220 is quicker of the line, but the produced XJ220 hit 100 mph 0.7 earlier and had a higher top speed. The produced XJ220 is 200 lbs lighter than the planned XJ220. When the Jaguar XJ220 came out in 1992, it cost $650,000. The Jaguar XJ220 was quick, fast, light, and very expensive.
The Jaguar XJ 220 was featured on Top Gear during Series 5, Episode 2, where the guys where comparing modern supercars versus supercars from the 1980s and 1990s. The Jaguar XJ220 is playable in Gran Turismo 4, Gran Turismo 5, Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec, Gran Turismo 2, Carmageddon, ToCA 2 Touring Cars, Re-Volt, Jaguar XJ220, Choro Q HG 2, GT Racing 97, TORCS, ToCA Race Driver 2, Need For Speed II, Project Gotham Racing 2, Project Gotham Racing 3, Test Drive 6, Test Drive Unlimited, TD Overdrive: the Brotherhood of Speed, Adrenalin 2: Chas Pik, Deathtrack, Forza Motorsport 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Test Drive 4, Test Drive 5, and Project Gotham Racing 4.
Nearly 20 years after the Jaguar XJ220 was released, it is still one of the fastest cars on the road. Yet, the legacy of this car is that Jaguar promised on XJ220, and produced a different XJ220 is what this car will be known for. Cutting the plan cylinder engine in half and changing it from all-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive did not sit well with customers. Top Gear named the Jaguar XJ220 one of the worst supercars in history because Jaguar promised a V12, all-wheel drive XJ220, and released a twin-turbocharged V6, rear-wheel drive XJ220. One Jaguar XJ220 went $140,000 at an Rm Auction. This is a low price for a car that was once the fastest car on the road. I am glad that Jaguar made the change because the XJ220 that Jaguar released was faster, lighter, and more fuel-efficient than the planned XJ220. If Jaguar released the V12 XJ220 that only went 200 mph, then the Bugatti EB110 would have held the title as the world’s fastest street-legal production car for an extra two years.
Photo taken from a digital camera
Originally written on June 15, 2011