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Peter Anderson | Jun, 22 2012 | 0 Comments

The Jaguar XJ220, once the fastest production car in the world, is turning 20. Jaguar's throwing a party.

The event is part of the International Jaguar Weekend, to be held this weekend at Weston Park in Shropshire, England.

Present will be the car's designer Keith Helfet, along with build team members Jim Randle and Mike Moreton (who also authored Jaguar XJ220 - The Inside Story).

The XJ220 was built in limited numbers by the late Tom Walkinshaw's TWR between 1992 and 1994, with just 275 of a planned 350 built.

The concept car shown in 1988 at the Birmingham Motor Show sported a quad-cam 6.2 litre Jaguar V12, which was a prototype engine for the company's XJR-9 race car. It was also all-wheel-drive.

By 1991, TWR had chucked the gigantic V12 in favour of a race-bred twin-turbo six and it had become rear-wheel drive to save more weight, and endow the XJ220 with 'race car' dynamics.

Those who had already put down their deposit of £50,000 (around $130,000 in today's money) on the car were less than impressed with the late change. The 1992 recession also bit hard, which caused an early halt to production.

It was also impossible to import the car into the United States, which surely knocked out a huge number of potential buyers.

As the name suggested, it was intended to reach 220mph (356.4 km/h) but the modified production version used to set its speed record "only" reached 217mph (350km/h). It was promptly knocked off its perch by the McLaren F1 in 1994.

The XJ220 also held the production car lap record of the Nurburgring for many years, with a time of 7m46.37s.

Jaguar is justifiably proud of the XJ220 - it remains one of the most striking and impressive supercars ever made and kicked off an incredible power war that gave us the McLaren F1 and the Bugatti EB110.

 
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