To celebrate its new era of motorsports excellence during the late 1980s, Jaguar’s spectacular XJ220 was unveiled in 1988 at the Birmingham Motor Show. Developed by Jaguar in conjunction with Tom Walkinshaw Racing, the XJ220 was an impressive statement of Jaguar’s considerable technical expertise and celebrated the marque’s legendary racing pedigree, past and present, which now included Le Mans victories under Walkinshaw’s guidance in 1988 and 1990.
The result of their labor was a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with 542 brake horsepower and a five-speed transaxle built into a chassis made of aluminum-honeycomb with aluminum and composite bodywork. The XJ220 was, however, remarkably large. It weighed in at some 3,500 pounds and was over eight feet wide and 16 feet long. Yet, with the twin-turbocharged V-6 engine of the production version, performance was breathtaking, with zero to 60 mph achieved in just over four seconds. Formula 1 star Martin Brundle tested a lightly modified XJ220 and achieved in excess of 217 mph, a record that stood until the McLaren F1 of 1994. Initial XJ220 buyers included Sir Elton John and the Sultan of Brunei.
Jaguar and TWR also endeavored to take the XJ220 racing, hoping to prove its quality on the racetrack as well as on the road. Impressively, in 1993, they won the Le Mans GT class their first time out, but the title was revoked for the car’s lack of catalytic converters. Stateside, it caused quite a stir as well with the highly publicized “Fast Masters” series, wherein former racing drivers, all driving XJ220s, competed and often exchanged paint on the much-too-small Indianapolis Raceway Park.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
549 bhp, 3,498 cc 24-valve, twin-turbocharged, mid-mounted V-6 engine, five-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel vented hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 103.9"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel