Appreciating the Short Lived Run of the Jaguar XJ220

Have you ever heard of car called the Jaguar XJ220? Unless you’re a car aficionado, you might not know what this particular model refers to, largely because it was only produced for a couple of years. That being said, it’s a car that definitely left its mark on the automobile industry as a whole. It’s easy to understand how it impacted Jaguar as a company but the truth is, it influenced a lot of automakers when it came to creating cars that have since been rolled off the assembly line, not to mention concept automobiles.

This was a car that was only produced from 1992 until 1994. It was a two-seat sports coupe that looked more like a futuristic spaceship than an automobile. As a matter of fact, this was a car that was so far ahead of its time that when it was initially rolled out during the early 1990s, a lot of people didn’t initially know what to make of it. Its extremely aerodynamic design made it look like it could practically take flight. At the same time, it borrowed some of its design from other popular sports cars of the time. This blended design made it look as though it had been pieced together much like a jigsaw puzzle.

This car was also fast. As a matter of fact, it was capable of achieving a top speed of just over 213 miles per hour. That’s definitely faster than most people can go safely and the car didn’t really seem to have any trouble getting to that speed, either. This is largely due to its oversized V12 engine, capable of creating enough horsepower to propel the car to the front of the line, no matter what type of automobile it was competing against. It’s worth noting here that in tests, the car also achieved a faster lap time than any car released as a production model that had ever come before it.

Of course, all that power doesn’t really do you any good if you don’t have a way to control the automobile effectively. Jaguar handled this through a number of different means. First and foremost, they made the car all-wheel drive so that you never had to worry about tires merely spinning in either the front or the back of the car. This provided drivers with more control. Jaguar also kicked things up several notches by allowing each wheel to operate independently of the other, providing both power and breaking to the wheels that needed it most. They also utilized aerodynamics to make the car easier to handle, providing it with a wide wheel-base and allowing it to sit close to the ground. This made the car corner effectively, even at high speeds. It also made it less likely that the car would break contact from the ground during corners because its overall design essentially locked it into contact with the ground.

It probably won’t surprise you that it didn’t take very long for a version of this car to hit the racetrack and it dominated there as well. The interesting thing is that Jaguar essentially operated with two different departments, one that specialized in racing and one that handled street-legal automobiles. In the case of this particular model, these two sections of the company shared information across the board. It definitely made both vehicles better and it is an example of what can really happen when red tape stops standing in the way of development. To this day, it’s considered a stellar example of the types of things that can be achieved when people stop stumbling over each other and start working together.

Even though the car hasn’t been produced in 25 years, it still has an important place in the history of automobile manufacturing. There were a decent number of these cars made but they were never mass-produced. In fact, they were basically made to order, meaning that people would make a deposit and order the automobile, then wait for it to be manufactured. Even though it’s been quite some time, there are still a few of these automobiles running around but don’t expect to see one driving up and down the road anytime soon. The ones that are left are well cared for by collectors so if you want one for yourself, you’ll have to find such an individual and then negotiate what will probably prove to be a hefty offer in order to convince them to sell it.


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