1994 Jaguar XJ220

A supercar like no Jaguar before or after, the XJ220 held the record for the highest top speed of a production car at 217 mph until the arrival of the McLaren F1 in 1994.

The XJ220 Was Jaguars First Forced Induction Vehicle and Generated 542bhp with 476 lb·ft from it Twin-Turbo V6 (1920x1200)

The production version of the car was first shown to the public in October 1991. JaguarSport was charged with producing the car and had several goals/rules: the car would be rear wheel drive instead of 4 wheel drive to save weight and retain racing car dynamics; would have a turbocharged V6 engine instead of the big V12 to improve weight and distribution; and performance goals of over 200 mph, 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, and the lightest weight possible.

The 6.2-litre V12 had been judged too difficult to get past emissions regulations and there were also some design problems caused by the size of the power plant. In its place was a Tom Walkinshaw-developed 3.5-litre V6 race engine as used in the Group C XJR-10/11 racers, fitted with twin Garrett T3 turbochargers, generating 542 bhp of maximum power at 7000 rpm and 476 lb·ft of torque at 4500 rpm. The engine was the first V6 in Jaguar’s history and was essentially a 6 cylinder derivation from the Cosworth DFV Formula 1 engine, originally designed by David Wood for the Austin Metro 6R4 rally car. It was also the first Jaguar engine to use forced induction. In spite of the smaller displacement, the engine produced more power than the V12 and improved handling by being set lower and more centrally in the car.

As Autocar put it at the time, “Savage acceleration really is a given here. What’s really incredible about the XJ220 is its ability to provide such performance in a way that it never, ever intimidates. If we’re still looking for misconceptions, it would be forgivable to assume that a race-derived engine with a small capacity for its enormous output would deliver its power with the friendly progressiveness of a kick in the teeth. Not so. Its throttle response and, just as important, the weighting of the accelerator pedal, means you can draw on the Jaguar’s performance with absolute accuracy. Use only half the pedal’s travel and it goes like a Golf GTi, moving smartly into Porsche 968 territory with a little extra pressure. A bit more and you have Honda NSX acceleration on hand. The next stage takes you into the domain of the Ferrari 512TR, from which you will only erupt if you nail the pedal to the floor, something you could not conceivably do by accident.”

The XJ220 was the first roadcar to exploit under-body airflow and venturi to generate downforce of around 3000lb for high speed stability. It used a Group C suspension configuration, leading to handling described by Autocar as “the finest handling supercar we have ever driven. Such is its damping that supercars we previously considered superlatively well-controlled over difficult roads now seem flawed and spongy after the Jaguar.”