It was at the 1988 British Motor Show that the sensational Jaguar XJ220 concept prototype was first revealed to the public, a lightweight two-seater with a mid-mounted V12 engine designed as a modern day successor to the XJ13 sports-racing prototype of 1966. With a 6.2 litre, quadruple overhead camshaft, four valve per cylinder, 500bhp motor developed by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, an FF Developments four wheel drive system and an immense but svelte bonded aluminium body designed by Keith Helfets clothing an aluminium/honeycomb monocoque, it was the ultimate supercar, a limited edition, 200mph plus piece of pure automotive sculpture – the 220 part of the name denoted the targeted top speed – that the following year would be officially given a price tag of no less than £361,000. Predictably, orders and the mandatory £80,000 deposits flooded in from all corners of the world. When the production version was shown to the public in October 1991, however, there were significant mechanical changes compared to the prototype of three years earlier, the V12 having been substituted by an also TWR-developed, twin turbocharged, four overhead camshaft, four valve per cylinder engine. Producing an impressive 549bhp at 7,000rpm and 473lb.ft at 4,500rpm, the now slightly shorter XJ220 proved more than capable of reaching its target maximum speed: in 1992 at the Italian Nardo test track Formula One and sportscar ace Martin Brundle recorded 212.3mph around the banking in standard trim and 217.1mph with the catalytic converters disconnected, the latter speed equivalent to 223mph on a straight road. Combined with 0-60mph acceleration in a brutal 3.5 seconds the XJ220 was indisputably the fastest road car on the planet, and thanks to racing developed inboard wishbone suspension and huge ventilated disc brakes with four piston callipers, it held the road beautifully and stopped equally as well. Production of the car began the following year at a purpose-built factory at Bloxham in Oxfordshire with the first cars delivered in July to, amongst other well known names, Elton John and the Sultan of Brunei. Although production numbers for the exclusive Jaguar had been set at a maximum of 350, ultimately just 281 examples of what remains one of the most desirable cars in the world were ever built. Described by the vendor as being in superb condition throughout, this left hand drive example of Jaguar’s classic supercar is finished in its original Le Mans Blue with grey leather interior and has completed just 2000 km from new, making it one of the best XJ220s available on the open market. With a build date of 14th December 1992, it was delivered new to Germany on 17th February 1993. More recently the car has benefitted from a full service including a new clutch by XJ220 specialists Don Law. Complete with original tool kit and an MOT certificate valid until November 2010, this is a rare opportunity to acquire a superb example of this legendary supercar, ready to be enjoyed for a fraction of the original price.

By andrei