My UK Road Ramblings correspondent and good friend Richard Owen, in a previous life was head hunted by Tom Walkinshaw to be chief design engineer on the XJ220 Jaguar Supercar project. Richard looks back very fondly on those heady days.
The XJ220 story is a little sad in that the car never really got going.
Jaguar Cars approached Tom Walkinshaw’s TWR firm to design and build the XJ220. The initial XJ220 concept car was unveiled to the public at the 1988 British International Motor Show, held in Birmingham, England.
Its positive reception prompted Jaguar to put the car into production; some 1500 deposits of £50,000 each were taken, and deliveries were planned for 1992.
The car was powered by a 3.5 litre twin turbo V6 putting out 399kw(542bhp).
It drove via a five speed manual gearbox. Recorded top speed was 349kph (216mph) and acceleration to 100kph in just 3.6 seconds. In 1992 it was the world’s fastest production car.
The worldwide recession in 1992 saw the supercar market collapse and most orders were not completed. This saw the early demise of what would have been one of the world’s great supercars. Only 275 were ever built.
No, Richard has never actually owned one of the cars he helped to birth.
Thanks to the Lonely Planet I have a wonderful book to give away. It’s titled Epic Drives of the World. It encompasses 50 classic driving routes over six continents, including six Australian classic drives.
To be in the draw for one of these two beautiful coffee table books simply send your name and address to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.