The names Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche all come to the forefront of our minds when it comes to supercars past and present. But there was one supercar built a quarter century ago that's about as exotic and exclusive as they come. It was the Jaguar XJ220, and it was the fastest production car ever built up to that time. It's still the fastest Jaguar car ever made, and looks pretty modern by current standards. We go back in time to take a closer look at this marvel of British engineering.
Initially created for racing purposes, the XJ220 was built from 1992 to 1994. The concept housed a mid-engined V12 and had an all aluminum honeycomb structure body and all-wheel drive.
The concept car made its first public showing at the 1988 British International Motor show to a raving public. 1,500 would-be customers deposited money before the production version was ever built. Production models would be priced at a whopping 360 British Pounds or the equivalent of $580,000.
The car achieved a record-breaking 213 mph, making it the fastest production car at the time. It held the Nürburgring lap record 7:46:36 until the time was beaten by the astounding McLaren F1 in 1993.
The original plan to give the XJ220 a hulking V12 engine was scrapped due to size, weight and emissions issues. The production version housed a 3.5-liter twin turbo powerplant good for 540 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. The XJ220 could hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.6 seconds, fast even by modern standards.
Despite the XJ220's extreme speed, it's interior was supremely comfortable and well-appointed.
When customers who put down deposits found out the XJ220 wouldn't have the V12 engine, many of them pulled out. Production ended after only two short years and fell short of the targeted 350 cars. Only 275 cars were made, but the XJ220 has already gone down in history as one of the greats.