Monday, April 28, 2008

The still amazing Jaguar XJ220

Coming out of the ever excessive 1980's, the Car industry was in a strange state of transition in the early 1990's. Japan had come to the states with cars that were giving the Corvette quite a run for it's money. The Germans were tooling up for a horsepower race unseen since the Muscle Car era that is still being slugged out to this day. As for the British, Jaguars line up of cars was at a low point after troubled reliability throughout the 80's. Jaguar really needed something to shake up the car industry, something to return to it's glory of the 1960's. In 1989 Jaguar officially announced the concept of the XJ220 would actually go on sale. When shown to the world at the British Motor show, the XJ220 was like nothing the world had ever seen (and had plenty of Italian car makers shaking in their hand stitched leather shoes).

Although the concept XJ220 was slated to have a V12, emissions had prompted Jaguar to equip the production version with a 3.5 Liter twin-turbo V6. Despite not having a legendary Jaguar V12, the XJ220 produced a monster 550hp!! Combined with it's light weight, the XJ220 was uber fast! (Don't believe me? Check out the Top Gear drag race between a XJ220 and a Pagani Zonda!).

Ultimately the XJ220 never sat well with Jaguar purist. Despite it's massive performance, the lack of a tried and true V12 discouraged many potential buyers. It's short production run only lasted 2 years with very limited numbers produced. The XJ220 has now proven to bring huge money at auction, and despite the controversy at the time, I think the XJ220 will go down as one of the best cars Jaguar ever built!

(Once again, thanks Bryan for the great pics!!!!!!)

1 comment:

Jagnet said...

There's no doubt that the XJ220 is now being seen for the car it really is, and is finally abandoning the misplaced reputation it gained at its launch.

Had the timing of its production not coincided with such dire economic conditions, its history would have been viewed very differently.