Jaguar XJ220
aka XJ220S
Production One-off concept car (1988)
Production car 1991-1994 (281 units)
Class Sports Car
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
Length 194.1 in (4930 mm)
Width 87.4 in (2220 mm)
Height 45.3 in (1150 mm)
Wheelbase 103.9 in (2640 mm)
Weight 3,241 lb (1470 kg)
Transmission Five-speed manual transaxle
Engine 3498cc quad-cam V6 with twin Garrett T3 turbos
Power 542 bhp @ 7,000 rpm / 475 lb ft @ 4,500 rpm
Similar McLaren F1
Ferrari F50
Lamborghini Diablo
Bugatti EB110
Designer Jaguar

The Jaguar XJ220 was a supercar produced by Ford's Jaguar luxury marque in collaboration with Tom Walkinshaw Racing between 1992 and 1994. It held the record for the highest top speed of a production car (213.1 mph) until the arrival of the McLaren F1 in 1994. One of the Jaguar XJ220 was a V6 engine that was turbocharged and was a 3.5 liters or 0.9 gallons approx.


In the early days of the company, certain Jaguar employees had created an informal group they called "The Saturday Club" (so-named because they would meet after-hours and on weekends to work on unofficial pet-projects). In the 1980s, Jaguar's chief-engineer Jim Randle, as part of that group, began work on what he saw as competition for cars like the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959. He envisioned what was essentially an updated XJ13 - a lightweight two-seater with a powerful mid-mounted V12 engine. Randle expanded on the idea by settling on all wheel drive for increased traction and better handling and an integral safety-cage so the car could be safely raced at extremely high speeds. From the outset, the intention was to create a vehicle capable of exceeding 200 mph (322 km/h).

Concept car[]

Jaguar executives who saw the concept were sufficiently impressed to formally commit company resources to producing a car for the 1988 British Motor Show. Tom Walkinshaw Racing was tapped to produce a 6.2 L version of Jaguar's legendary V12 engine with four valves per cylinder, quad camshafts and a target output of 500 hp (373 kW). The all wheel drive system was produced by FF Developments who had experience with such systems going back to the 1960s and the Jensen FF. The styling of the car was done by Keith Helfet and included scissor-style doors similar to those in use by Lamborghini in several of their cars. The name XJ220 was assigned as a reference to the targeted top-speed of 220 mph (354 km/h).

The prototype car was significantly heavier at 1560 kg (3440 lb) than other Jaguar racers like the XJR-9. But as it was intended to be, first and foremost, a roadcar, it would be more appropriate to compare it with something like the XJS; in spite of being 30 in (762 mm) longer and 10 in (254 mm) wider and even with the added weight of the all wheel drive system, the XJ220 was still 170 kg (375 lb) lighter than the XJS.

The car was officially announced in 1989 with a price of £361,000 ($580,000 USD) and prospective buyers were expected to put up a deposit of £50,000 ($80,000 USD) to be put on the waiting list for delivery. Because Jaguar promised to limit initial production to 220 units and that total production would not exceed 350, many of those who put deposits on the cars were speculators who intended to sell the car at an immediate profit.

Production version[]

The production version of the car was first shown to the public in October 1991 after undergoing significant changes. The most obvious of which was a completely different drivetrain and the elimination of the scissor doors. TWR was charged with producing the car and had several goals/rules in producing the car: the car would be rear wheel drive instead of all wheel drive; turbocharged V6 instead of the big V12; and performance goals of over 200 mph, 0 to 60 mph under 4 s, and the lightest weight possible.

The 6.2 L V12 had been judged too difficult to get past increasingly strict emission regulations and there were also reportedly some design problems caused by the size of the power plant. It was replaced with a Tom Walkinshaw-developed 3.5 L V6 based on the engine used in the Rover Metro 6R4 rally car and fitted with twin-turbochargers, generating 549 bhp of maximum power at 7000 RPM and 473 ft·lb of torque at 4500 RPM. This engine was not only the first V6 in Jaguar's history, but also the first to use forced induction. In spite of the smaller displacement and half the number of cylinders, the engine produced more power than the V12 would have. However, potential customers judged the exhaust note to be harsh and the lag from the turbos to be an annoyance. Also missing from the production version of the car was the Ferguson all wheel drive - the production car had only rear driven wheels, through a conventional transaxle.

The car entered production in 1992 in a purpose built factory at Bloxham near Oxford, and the first cars were delivered to customers in July. Original customers included Elton John and the Sultan of Brunei.

Many of the initial customers were dissatisfied not only with the modifications to the original specification but the significant increase in delivery price from the original £361,000 to £403,000 ($650,000 USD). Further complicating the issue was Tom Walkinshaw's offer of the faster (by acceleration, not top speed), more expensive and more exclusive XJR-15 which was based on the Le Mans champion XJR-9. Some customers reportedly either sued Jaguar or threatened to sue—in any case, Jaguar gave the customers the option to buy themselves out of the delivery contract.

In spite of the drama surrounding its creation, a total of 281 cars were made and it remains a sought-after collectible supercar.

Racing version[]

A racing version called the XJ220C was also made. The XJ220C, driven by Win Percy won its first race, a round of the BRDC National Sports GT Challenge at Silverstone. Three works XJ220C's were entered in the 1993 Le Mans 24 Hour race, entered in the newly created Grand Touring Class. Two of the cars retired but one XJ220, driven by John Nielsen, David Brabham and David Coulthard took the chequered flag to take a class win, which was revoked two weeks later, when the XJ220C was disqualified for a technical infringement.

Pininfarina-designed version[]

During the mid-nineties, the Sultan of Brunei and his brother Prince Jefri secretly bought hundreds of supercars and had them custom appointed by the best in the business. One of these is this custom Jaguar XJ220 that has been completely redone by Pininfarina.[1] [2]


XJ220 appearances in Video Games[]

The Jaguar XJ220 had its own self-titled computer game, released for the Amiga in 1992. Since then it has appeared in a number of other games:

  • Need For Speed II features the XJ220.
  • Forza Motorsport 1-4 features the XJ220.
  • Gran Turismo 2 features both the XJ220 and the XJR-15.
  • Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec features the XJ220 in both the car dealers and in the license test.
  • Gran Turismo 4 makes the returning XJ220 as one of the Classic Cars. It is also in one of the license tests and the XJ220-LM is available as a championship prize.
  • Gran Turismo HD is set to make the returning Jaguar XJ220 as well as the LM version of the XJ220, with improved and even better engine sounds.
  • Project Gotham Racing 2 and Project Gotham Racing 3 features the XJ220 as one of the drivable cars, plus with improved engine sounds, while Project Gotham Racing 4 features the XJ220S.
  • Test Drive Unlimited offers the XJ220 and can either be downloaded from Project Gotham Racing 3 or purchased from the dealers.
  • Jaguar XJ220 for the Saga Mega CD, its own personal game.
  • Real Racing 3 features the XJ220
  • Need For Speed No Limits features the Jaguar XJ220

Top Gear[]

On Top Gear, the XJ220 beat the Pagani Zonda S in a drag race and proved that newer isn't always better. Presenter Jeremy Clarkson mocked the car before the drag race, calling it "as advanced as a telegraph pole", compared to the Zonda. The XJ220 was featured alongside 2 other supercars more than 10 years old at the time (episode 2, series 5, made in late 2004), the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F40.

The Jaguar XJ220 is ranked No. 3 of Top Gear's worst cars.

Speed Record[]

In 1992 at the Nardo circuit, Martin Brundle pushed a stock XJ220 to 217mp/h.

See also[]


Tata Group

Tata Motors | Jaguar | Land Rover | Hispano Carrocera SA | Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle | Daewoo Bus

Current Models: XF (R) · F-Pace · F-Type · E-Pace · XE · I-Pace

Historic Models: X-Type · E-Type · XJS · XKSS · XK120 · XK140 · XK150 · XJ220 · 240 · 340 · Mk. VII · Mk. VIII · Mk. IX · Mk. X · Mk. V · Mk. IV · Mark 2 · Mark 1 · 3.5 Litre · 2.5 Litre · 1.5 Litre · S-Type (1963-1968) · 420 · S-Type · SS100 · XJR-15 · XJ

Concept Cars: C-XF · R-Coupe · RD-6 · Fuore XF 10 · Pirana Concept · XK180 Concept · F-Type Concept · XK-RR Concept · XK-RS Concept · Concept Eight · XJ Limo Green Hybrid Study Concept · XJ75 Platinum Concept · C-X75 Concept · C-X16 Concept

One-Offs: XJ13

Racing Vehicles: C-Type · D-Type · XJR-5 · XJR-6 · XJR-7 · XJR-8 · XJR-9 · XJR-10 · XJR-11 · XJR-12 · XJR-14 · XJR-16 · XJR-17 · XJ-S · R1 · R2 · R3 · R4 · R5 · XKR GT3 · XKR GT2 · RSR XKR GT

Daimler Corsica Concept

Sir William Lyons Corporate website A brand of the Tata Group

External Links[]