Jaguar XJ220 The Fast?

Guided Tour of the Jaguar XJ220By Kristen Hall-Geisler, Guide

The Jaguar XJ220 Dream:The Jaguar XJ220 was conceived by "the Saturday club," engineers who met to work on auto projects for fun. When the concept was unveiled at the 1988 Birmingham Motor Show, the Jaguar XJ220 was poised to pounce on rivals like the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 959.

The concept had the following impressive stats:6.2-liter V12 engine making 520 hp All-wheel drive and four-wheel steering Gullwing doors (a supercar requisite, it seems) Price set at $536,000

Jaguar took 1500 deposits of $92,000 each for the car, then returned all but 350 of the stacks of cash to the potential owners, as only 350 examples were to be built.

The Jaguar XJ220 Reality:When the production model of the Jaguar XJ220 made its debut in 1992, many changes had been made to its powerplant and design, thanks to the bottom falling out of the supercar market in the early 1990s. Check out the numbers, and compare them to the concept: 3.5-liter V6 engine making 542 hp Rear-wheel drive and regular steering Doors that open normally

The price remained the same, but depositors didn't want a 6-cylinder supercar, so they backed out. Jaguar ended up suing these folks for reneging on their contracts, and only 265 examples of the XJ220 were ever built. Only 170 of these were actually sold.

But Was It Fast?:Heck yes, it was fast. The production car racked up 212.3 mph in testing, and 0-60 times under 4 seconds.

At 200 mph, the car's race-derived ground effects delivered 600 pounds of road-holding downforce. To keep weight down, the frame was constructed of honeycombed aluminum with aluminum body panels.

A press release from Jaguar at the time of the car's introduction claims, "These performance figures make XJ220 the fastest production car in the world."

The interior was trimmed in leather and an Alpine stereo was standard, but cost-saving measures included lots of interior plastic and taillights from the Ford Escort.

The Final Analysis:

The Jaguar XJ220 suffered from the expense of the advanced (for the time) systems in the prototype, leaving early depositors feeling cheated. It didn't help that the McLaren F1 came along in 1993 to take away the XJ220's fastest-production-car crown.

The F1 couldn't take away its claim to being the biggest supercar in the world, though. The XJ220 was 194 inches long (just over 16 feet) and 87.5 inches wide (well over 7 feet), including its mirrors.

But for all the global excitement and -- followed by global recession and disappointment -- the XJ220 never met U.S. safety standards and was never sold in the States.

The Jaguar C-X75 does indeed have a couple of engines in the back, but they don't power the wheels. These are turbine engines that increase the range of the car from 68 miles to 560 miles.

They never power the wheels directly, but they do keep the four 195-hp electric motors at the wheels juiced up. Retrieved from online on 11/1/2011. Return from Jaguar XJ 220 to Jaguar

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