Jaguar XJ220 Concept 1988 posters

Jaguar XJ220 Concept

The Jaguar XJ220 is a mid-engined supercar produced by Jaguar in collaboration with Tom Walkinshaw Racing as Jaguar Sport between 1992 and 1994. It held the record for the highest top speed of a production car (350 km/h, 217 mph) until the arrival of the McLaren F1 in 1994. The XJ220 is unrelated with the other XJ models, although shares the same name 'XJ'.


In the early days of the company, certain Jaguar employees had formed an informal collective they called "The Saturday Club"; so-called because they would meet up during weekends and after-hours to work on their own pet-projects. In the 1980s, Jim Randle - Jaguar's chief engineer and a member of the "Saturday Club" - dreamed of creating a modern-day two-seater with a powerful mid-mounted V12 engine, that could rival cars like the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959. Randle took things a step further by opting for an all-wheel-drive system to increase traction and handling, as well as an integral safety-cage, allowing the vehicle to stay stable when driving at high speeds. The target was to manufacture a car capable of surpassing 320 km/h (200 mph).

Concept car

On seeing Randle's concept, Jaguar executives immediately granted resources so that a version of the car would be ready for the 1988 British Motor Show. Tom Walkinshaw Racing was entrusted with building a 6.2 L V12 engine that featured four valves per cylinder, quad camshafts, and could generate 500 hp (370 kW; 510 PS). FF Developments - who had previously worked on all-wheel-drive systems back in the 1960s with the Jensen FF - was handed over the task of creating the XJ220's drivetrain. Keith Helfet was responsible for designing the vehicle; his design included scissor-style doors, much like the ones found in Lamborghini models. The car was jokingly named XJ220 as an homage to its intended top-speed of 220 mph (350 km/h).

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