Classic Cars – Jaguar XJ220
When the XJ220 appeared at the 1988 Motor Show, it stopped the show. Few people believed it could be put in to production, but Jaguar confounded their critics and built the 208mph machine, the world’s fastest road car – This car is positively a Classic.
Starting from a sketch on the back of a Christmas card, the notion of the XJ220 was conceived by Jaguars ex head of product development – Jim Randle and wanted it to be the car that would deliver a level of performance unmatched by any other car in the world. The XJ220 was not one car but 2, Randle’s original vision was of a car powered by a detuned four valves per cylinder version of the Le Mans winning XJR-12, V12 Engine, but with a full complement of technology to provide an amazingly capable road car, it had 4 wheel drive, anti lock brakes and the potential for traction control, adaptive suspension and four wheeled steering. It was this car that made its debut in October 1988 at the NEC and is stopped the show in its tracks. When the covers were first pulled back the Ferrari F-40 on the opposite stand was completely ignored and the Jaguar had all eyes on it.
Some changes were to be made to the car for it to be produced on wider scale, On December 14 1989 it was announced that between 220 and 350 XJ220’s would be built- with a 500bhp, Maximum top speed of 212mph, 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, Twin Turbo, 24 Valve, V6 Engine with rear wheel drive and with a price tag of £290,000 it was fortunate that this classic passed all tests with flying colours first time round. The response was overwhelming and only 48 hours after the announcement JaguarSport had orders for several times more than the maximum numbers of cars Jaguar were prepared to build.