The XJ 220 prototype was unveiled to the world in Birmingham in 1988. The car was greeted with enthusiasm, and the decision was taken to produce a limited series of 350 examples. As Jaguar was not set up to produce such a small series, the build project was given to Jaguar-Sport, a joint venture between Jaguar Car Ltd and TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing).
The heavy 12-cylinder setup gave way to a derivation of the lighter and less bulky V6 racing engines, allowing the wheelbase to be shortened. For the same reason, the four-wheel-drive option was also abandoned. The weight of the production car came down to just over 1,400 kilos (3,086 pounds). The aluminum body housed an integral steel-tubed roll cage.
The aerodynamics of this very quick Jaguar resulted from extensive development, not only to aid penetration through the air, but also to ensure the car had sufficient downforce at high speeds. The tires suitable for this specification were special performance Bridgestones.
We are faced here with one of the fastest production cars in the world that, like the Ferrari F40, the McLaren F1, the Bugatti 110S and the Lamborghini Diablo, was capable of well over 300 km/h (186 mph). The F1 driver Martin Brundle was timed at 341 km/h (211 mph) in an XJ 220 on the Nardo circuit.
The car on offer, number 27, was one of the first XJ 220s to be sold. It was delivered new in France to the current owner, who has never had the car registered. This gentleman is over 75 years old today and bought the car for its aesthetic appeal. It has remained with its temporary plates, as its Parisian owner does not drive it — he is driven everywhere by his chauffeur. However, he does like to start the car once a week, in its parking place two floors below ground in the car park at his apartment. What’s more, the tricky ramp makes it difficult to get the car out. It is for these reasons that the car has only covered 813 km (505 miles) since leaving the factory.
It will be delivered to its new owner with its service book (that includes a service carried out in 2002), owner’s manuals and Jaguar certificate. Here is a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of the marque’s supercars, the stunning XJ 220, with negligible mileage. Moreover, the future owner will have the privilege of being the first person to register it.