What better way to show your passion for your work than by attending informal after hours meetings with like minded fellow employees to work on unofficial pet projects ? Such was the enthusiasm of Cheif Engineer Jim Randle and select fellow employees at Jaguar in the 1980’s that their ‘Saturday Club’ generated Jaguars XJ220 super car designed to take on Ferrari, Lambourghini and Porsche in the super car market head on.
The XJ220 as originally proposed and shown to the public featured a mid mounted quad cam 6.2 litre / 378 cui V12 all wheel drive scissor doors and a projected top speed of 220 mph.
The XJ220 was further developed into a production model by Jaguar Sport and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) who ran factory backed racing programmes for Jaguar with the XJS and later XJR models.
In production guise the XJ220 appeared rear wheel drive and with a smaller but more powerful 3.5 litre / 213 cui twin turbo V6 taken from the MG Metro 6R4 rally programme.
Many customers and above all speculators were not best pleased with the change in specs of the production model and tried unsuccessfully to sue Jaguar for the return of thier deposits. The last XJ220’s were sold for a third of their asking price in 1997, and still fetch a similar price today.
In 1992 works Jaguar racer Martin Brundle recorded a top speed of 212 mph road spec XJ220 which with the catalytic converters removed managed 217 mph at the Nardó Ring in Italy.
Thanks for joining me on this Saturday Club edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !