Skip to main content

Rare 1993 Jaguar XJ220S bound for Arizona auction

The 1993 Jaguar XJ200S Coupe is a rare breed indeed. Modified by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) into a street legal version of the three XJ220C’s they put to work on the GT racing circuit. It held the speed record for a production car (in spite of the Walkinshaw modifications) until the McLaren F1 took the title in 1994.
Posted: January 17, 2012 - 5:34PM
Author: Don Bain

As automotive journalists, we know a number of our peers who own racecars, but no one with anything like this. If it were only golden, it would make a suitable chariot for Apollo himself. In its current silver hue, it is an appropriate conveyance for the modern self-assured, take-the-wheel devotees of Selene today – the Roman Titan of the Moon.

TWR took nine of the basic XJ220’s from Jaguar and, as we said, three went to the racetrack and six were modified as part of a study of the car’s production viability.

They removed the aluminum body parts save for the doors and replaced them with lightweight carbon-fiber replacements. The V-12 engine of the racing model was swapped out for a 3.5-litre V6 race engine equipped with twin Garrett T3 turbochargers and this was the first Jaguar to use forced induction. This resulted in a 680 horsepower rocket ship weighing only 2,349 lbs. This translates into heart-stopping acceleration of zero to 60 in 3.6 seconds, just slightly longer than a yawn – something this car is not likely to induce.

What was then called the XJ220S also had a front splitter, wider sills and an adjustable rear spoiler. It was also the first production vehicle to feature an under-body aerodynamics system used to create stability enhancing downforce of up to 3000 lbs. Incidentally, the 220 in the model designation is the targeted top speed of the Jaguar.

Notably, the current owner has had this vehicle, chassis number 784, for eight years, adding only 1,200 very discriminating miles to the odometer. Further the output of the engine is improved from original by the addition of a TWR titanium exhaust system installed by a Spanish technician flown in to install the exhaust as well as a major retuning and service on the engine. All belts have been replaced, the fuel injectors have been cleaned and the software has been recalibrated and updated, adding 20 horsepower to the initial 680.

The brakes and clutch have been serviced and the paint has been redone to match Lamborghini’s Reventon Gray. Infiniti projector headlights were installed up front and original magnesium wheels have been resurfaced sporting brand new rubber. The all-leather interior has been completely detailed like new.

This 1993 Jaguar XJ220S Coupe has drawn enthusiastic kudos at SEMA and has its own following of devotees. The other five XJ220S by and large languish in museums or private car collections resulting in the nearly mythical status of this one free-roaming supercat.

The XJ220S will be joining an impressive array of exotics in the first of RM Auction’s events during 2012, to be held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix January 19 – 20. Among other featured cars are Lee Iacocca’s 1991 Ferrari F40 Berlinetta, which we profiled yesterday, a 1957 Ferrari 410 Superamerica, 1952 Ferrari 342 America Pinin Farina Coupé, 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder, 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Ellena Berlinetta, 1930 Duesenberg Model J LWB Dual Cowl Phaeton, 1966 Shelby Cobra 427, CSX 3228, 1931 Chrysler CG Imperial Convertible Victoria, 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Landaulet by Barker and 1953 Chevrolet Corvette.

Ferrari’s and Shelby Cobra’s may fire the jets of some, but something about Jaguars got under this writer’s skin decades ago. For what the XJ220S truly is, it is quite reasonable at the estimated sale price of $225-$300K.

Just a couple of hours with the 1993 Jaguar XJ220S Coupe and two or three miles of uncluttered straightaway would allow me to revisit my youth for a while – until the reality of ludicrous speed brought me back to the aging present. How glorious would that be? Beyond mere words, my friends – beyond mere words.

Photo courtesy of RM Auctions


Nicolas Zart    January 18, 2012 - 12:03PM

I saw one at a body shop once in Costa Mesa and very got up close with it. I don't think the media and journalists gave it full credits at the time. It was a unique car that was specifically designed to one thing well and not be an over-achiever. What struck me most was its lines. It is superb. It never appreciated as much as I feel it should have on the collector's market and probably will one day. It's a stunning car, period.