Totalcar – Magazine – My 5 favorite Jaguars

Ford Transit with Jaguar XJ220 engine

The XJ220 would have been Jaguar’s poster car for the nineties, and they didn’t just want to impress Porsche 959 or Ferrari F40 buyers with design. Keith Helfet packed the V12 engine and all-wheel drive into a polished gravel after the angular eighties, which opened the wallets of many at the 1988 show. 1,500 pre-orders were taken, but in the end, due to emission restrictions, the V12 was replaced by a turbocharged V6 in series production, which was not high enough for the snobbish buyer, and the crisis hit: in the end, only 275 cars were delivered.

By itself, the XJ220 would also have a place on the list, but the test car, in which the engine of the developing super sports car was tested, is much more interesting. Tom Walkinshaw Racing, who worked on the development, could have incorporated the technology into anything, since in England, if you throw a stone, it is guaranteed to fall on a kit-car workshop, but they did not do it that way: the test car was a 1989 Ford Transit. That’s a pretty punk attitude in itself, but aside from the XJ220 rims, there’s nothing to suggest the 540 horsepower, even the color of the stall is the simplest white.

There was no chance of installing the biturbo V6 in the nose of the Transit, so a place was found for it in the cargo area. After the necessary tests were carried out, the car was sent to the Benetton Formula 1 team as a parts supplier, and it would have been owned by anyone if it had not been bought by an XJ220 specialist company, Don Law Racing. Here they modernized the brakes, updated the chassis and cranked it up to 640bhp, all for the occasional send up the Godwood mountain ramp. In such cases, by the way, there is also a ladder on top, and the dashboard is strewn with fast food bags and glasses, just to make it really authentic. It’s all a joke, but when he runs the hundred in under 5 and reaches 275, few people smile.

Jaguar XJ13

The XJ13 is a product of the sixties, and you cannot deny the zeitgeist, it was designed according to the same principles as the Ferrari P series, but it is not difficult to discover the proportions of the Ford GT40. It’s no coincidence: he should have beaten them at Le Mans. Not only Ford, but also the English were oppressed by the years of Ferrari supremacy, but ironically, the XJ13 was completed by the time Ford dominated the track in 1966, and due to rule changes, Jag was pushed out of racing. A movie was made about the battle between Ford and Ferrari a couple of years ago, not bad, but the story of the only built XJ13 is also sufficiently silly.

The designer, Malcolm Sayer, studied aerodynamics during the war, and after the C, D and, of course, the E-Type, the XJ13 also carries the typical, wildly rampant curves of that time, only in a much less vulgar way than, say, a contemporary Ferrari . The car was actually built around the five-liter V12, which already had transistor ignition and injectors, and was capable of 510 horsepower. It went like hell, easily reaching 260 km/h, and this was also his loss: the XJ13 was supposed to be featured in an advertisement for the V12 E-Type, but Norman Dewis spun it in a corner during the filming, and it fell out of the field around 220.

The wreck was not thrown away, it was restored in 1973, although the engine could not be tuned to the original performance level. In the early 2000s, it was broken again, and its engine was also damaged, but this time it was rebuilt by XK Engineering, which is a staple in classic Jaguars, so that the engine once again met the original specifications. The XJ13 is one of the cornerstones of Jaguar’s identity. An interesting side note is that the car fetched £7 million at an auction in 1996, which was three times the value of the Ferrari 250 GTO. The then owner did not sell it.

Aston Martin DB7

It’s not that I turned two pages in the cookbook and pudding ended up under the stew, but already in the nineties, money was talking, and Ford, which also owns Jaguar and Aston Martin, didn’t want to spend much. Jaguar had already been working on a new coupe since the mid-eighties, since the XJS had already been running for 10 years (who would have thought that it would be produced for 21 years from 1975), but Ford scrapped the project as they sensed the crisis and the grounding of the above-mentioned XJ220 did not bode well either. The project ran on internal code XJ41/42, and its public name would have been F-Type.

On the other hand, the head of the engineering company working closely with Jaguar, regular car racer Tom Walkinshaw, saw the fantasy in the abandoned project, so he convinced Ian Callum to design a worthy successor to the XJS. Walkinshaw did not want to let go of the type just because of personal experiences, since he competed a lot with the XJS in the European Touring Car Championship. However, sheer determination was not enough, the plans were rejected by Jaguar’s board of directors, and the development was plowed back into. However, what would have been expensive for Jaguar can still be sold for Aston Martin, since the more prestigious the name, the more money you can ask for it, especially if it is developed cheaply.

At that time, Walter Hayes was in charge of Aston, and he had already managed to convince Ford of the idea of ​​developing a new touring coupe (and convertible). The platform came from the XJS, albeit heavily modified, and was used by Jaguar two years later under the XK8. The engine is Jaguar’s AJ6 (it’s the same in Gyuri Bolla’s car), although Aston upgraded it with a compressor, and later a V12 was added. The rear light came from the Mazda 323, the indexes from the MX-5, since Mazda was also owned by Ford at the time, and there are a lot of Ford Scorpio switches in the interior, while the exterior mirrors were taken from the Citroen CX. The development of the DB7 cost 30 million dollars, but it paid off handsomely, as it became the most popular Aston ever, with 7,000 units sold between 1994 and 2004. But most of all: he produced the XK8 for Jaguar.

Jaguar C-X75

A mid-engined sports car is already in the selection, but the never-realized C-X75 prototype has such a special drivetrain that it definitely belongs here. The point is not the range-extending hybrid, but the gas turbines that drive the generators. The micro-turbines designed by Bladon Jets and the generators connected to them were originally invented to provide power to telecommunication towers far from civilization. Such a unit is about the size of a larger microwave oven, operates at extremely high efficiency and, according to the company, is exceptionally clean.

According to Jaguar’s vision, two such turbines would have supplied electricity to the 15 kWh lithium-ion battery and one YASA electric motor per wheel. Amazing numbers were promised, the drivetrain could produce 780 horsepower and more than 1,600 newton meters, while it could be refueled with anything from alcohol to diesel to kerosene. Of course, the design was English, that is, extremely extreme, but not at all intrusive, and they seriously thought about serial production. The gas turbines, however, had to go, in the street version a 1.6 turbo engine would have driven the generator, and only one electric motor per wheel would have remained.

Then, just as the XJ220 was washed away by the recession of the early nineties, the C-X75 also fell victim to the raging crisis of the early 2010s. Then he appeared in the James Bond movie Spectre, although there was nothing left of the extreme drive chain. These cars were built by Jaguar’s special orders department, with Williams engineering involved. The frame of the film cars was built on the basis of the structure used in rally cars, and the engines were dry sump V8s. The stuntmen probably enjoyed it.

Jaguar XJR-15

There are few more well-worn clichés in the industry than the street racing car, but when some manufacturers actually make such a development, you just wince, because you’ve heard the phrase so many times in commercials. However, from time to time some manufacturers really enter the market with such a car, and then we don’t even understand why it is such a big undertaking. Here, for example, is the XJR-15, which was the world’s first street car based entirely on carbon fiber composite, as it received the technical foundations of the Le Mans-winning XJR-9. The sports department, imaginatively called Jaguar Sport, was run by TWR at the time, that is, Tom Walkinshaw, who had already been sung about in the article several times, did not have to go next door for the craziness.

Obviously, the platform of the XJR-9, designed for long-distance races, is not suitable for road traffic even if you can stand the torture, so to begin with, the cabin was widened by 7.5 centimeters and the roofline was raised by 4 centimeters to give the two passengers a minimal sense of space. Perhaps we can talk not so much about development, but rather about watering the street, but the work was led by Peter Stevens, who worked on everything from Prodrive world champion Subaru Imprezas to the McLaren F1, which is freezing fast and came from the island country.

And the XJR-15 wasn’t slow either, as it was able to overcome what the XJ-220 didn’t, meaning the six-liter V12 with 450 horsepower could remain. By today’s standards, this may not seem like a lot, since you can buy an A Merc or an Audi A3 with more horsepower, but we must not forget that the car, sculpted from carbon fiber salvaged from the racetrack, weighed only 1,050 kilos, this is a second-generation, 110-horsepower MX-5 its weight. It jumped to 100 in 3.9 seconds and easily crossed 300, it did it all with a manual transmission, without any kind of driving aids. According to the tests of the time, it gave the rawest and wildest experience of all, and all fifty buyers could be happy about that, because only so many of them were made.