1993 JAGUAR XJ220 COUPÉ
The words 'supercar' and 'sensational' are often to be found in conjunction, and no more justifiably so than in the case of Jaguar's fabulous XJ220. Worthy successor to the multiple Le Mans-winning C-Type and D-Type Jaguars of the 1950s, the XJ220 grabbed the headlines, just as its illustrious forebears had done in previous decades, when the prototype burst upon an astonished world in 1988. A planned limited production run of a minimum of 220 and a maximum of 350 cars, combined with an eventual VAT-inclusive price tag of nearly £403,000, only served to further ensure the XJ220's exclusivity. Interest was intense and almost 1,500 orders were received. Jaguar then had the task of allocating cars to those privileged few customers that it considered worthy of ownership. In the event, changed economic circumstances mean that many of those who had paid the £50,000 deposit were unable to take delivery. The production XJ220 was officially launched at the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show, and when production ended in 1994 approximately 275 examples had been built.
Planning for Jaguar's proposed 200mph supercar had begun in the mid-1980s - design proceeding mainly in the project team's spare time! - and finally bore fruit when the prototype was exhibited at the UK Motor Show in 1988. The XJ220 survived Jaguar's take-over by Ford the following year but when it eventually entered production in 1992 was a very different beast. Gone was the prototype's 6.2-litre V12 engine, replaced by a Cosworth-designed, 3.5-litre, twin-turbo V6 as used in the XJR-11 sports-racer, while other casualties of the need to simplify the design for production included the prototype's four-wheel drive and adaptive suspension. Producing no less than 542bhp, this stupendous engine enabled the XJ220 to meet its 200mph-plus design target, F1 driver Martin Brundle recording a speed of over 217mph during track testing. The 0-100mph time was staggering 7.9 seconds! Quicker than both the Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Diablo, the XJ220 was the world's fastest production car until the arrival of the McLaren F1.
Drawing on experience gained from Jaguar's double-Le Mans-winning Group C sports racers, the XJ220 was constructed around a bonded and riveted monocoque chassis formed from lightweight, corrosion resistant, aluminium-alloy sheet re-enforced by aluminium honeycomb sections in highly stressed areas. Similarly race-derived was the double-wishbone suspension, adapted to provide acceptable comfort under road conditions, while other competition-influenced features were the AP Racing brakes, Speedline aluminium alloy wheels (17" diameter at the front, 18" at the rear) and FF Developments, five-speed, all-synchromesh transaxle with viscous-control, limited-slip differential.
A left-hand drive model finished in the subtle combination of Le Mans Blue with Smoke Grey leather interior, XJ220 chassis number '871' is the 31st example produced. According to Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust records (on file), this car was delivered new on 4th January 1993 to its first owner in Rome, Italy. Obviously very well preserved and maintained in original condition, it currently displays a total of only some 8,000 kilometres on the odometer. The last major service by XJ220-specialist Don Law has been carried out only a 1000kms ago in December 2014, the invoice for this service totalling €32.500 is on file.
A landmark model in Jaguar's illustrious history, the XJ220 is still the company's fastest-ever production car some 25 years on. As such it remains highly collectible, being sought after by Jaguar aficionados and supercar collectors alike. Boasting gorgeous looks and tremendous performance, this beautiful XJ220 represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of the most significant supercars of its era.
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