The first all new road-going Jaguar sports car to appear in 27 years, the XJ220 was originally conceived as a modified Group B racer. A ‘Saturday Club’ of company volunteer staff worked in their time to develop and build it on a shoestring, with more than 40 companies contributing components.
The 48 valve, V12, four wheel drive prototype was undoubtedly the star of the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show.
After four years of development, production began in February 1992 with a version on Jaguar’s latest Group C race-derived engine. This was a 3.5 litre, twin turbo charged, 24 valve, V6 unit with double overhead camshaft giving 0-60 in 3.75 seconds. Dry sump lubrication allows the engine to sit low in the chassis.
The car is mid-engined, rear wheel drive with a complex drive system involving three viscous couplings and two differentials.
There is a five speed manual gearbox, antilock braking and double wishbone suspension all round. Constructed in aluminum, the chassis is honeycomb with bolt-on body panels whose curves embody traditional Jaguar styling. Front and rear aero foils are both electrically adjustable.