Jaguar celebrates 20 years of XJ220

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Jaguar XJ220 prototype

What binds car enthusiasts to one another? A love for cars, certainly, but we’d argue there’s a deeper psychological connection. Namely that we’ve never quite grown up, and don’t really care to. We’re all still the little boys we once were, hanging posters of our favorite supercars on the walls of our childhood bedrooms. The only way to convince us of the reality of our own age is to show us how old the then-new supercars we pined for as kids have now become. So it’s with a big lump in our collective throat that we bring you the news that the Jaguar XJ220 is now 20 years old – and along with it, that we’re all 20 years older than we were when it came out.

The first time we got a glimpse of the mid-engined XJ220 was actually back in 1988 when it debuted at the British Motor Show. But that was in concept form. It wasn’t until 1992 that the first customer took delivery. And while it was a fair bit different from the concept version (okay, so the drivetrain was very different, with half the cylinders and half the driven wheels of the V12 concept), what we got was still earth-shattering in its capabilities – particularly for its time, but still by any objective measure. The production XJ220 packed 550 horsepower, hit 60 in less than four seconds and hit a top speed of 213 mph… a new record in the early 90s.

By the time production ceased two years later, Jaguar and TWR had built just 275 examples. The one pictured above is one of ten pre-production prototypes, specifically the example that Andy Wallace piloted to that landmark top speed at Ford Stockton, Texas, in 1991. The yellow example (also pictured in our high-resolution image gallery) was one of the very rare XJ220 S homologation specials with carbon fiber bodywork and 700 horsepower on tap. Click the thumbnails to scope it out and follow the jump for the full press release to take a trip back to your childhood.

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Jaguar celebrates 20 years of XJ220 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Feb 2012 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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