Journal: GALLERY: The Best Time To Catch A Jaguar XJ220 Is After A Spirited Drive

GALLERY: The Best Time To Catch A Jaguar XJ220 Is After A Spirited Drive

By Ted Gushue
February 6, 2017

Photography by Ted Gushue

Friend of Petrolicious Philip Sarofim isn’t shy when it comes to his passion for all things automotive. Having amassed what for many would be considered a dream collection, he now spends his free time driving the living hell out of them – as the car gods intended. He and I spent the better part of Saturday tearing through Malibu canyons, which eventually led us to our friend Howard’s Malibu Rocky Oaks, where naturally the only thing left to do was to whip out the camera and start shooting.

Personally the XJ220 occupies a rarified list of cars that only really existed in video games. If I’m not mistaken the first time I ever “drove” one of these bad boys it was on a PC in the computer lab at my grade school, and I was steering it with a keyboard in Need For Speed against the Ford GT90. So to not only see one in person, but to drive alongside one for a day was something of a religious experience. To sit in the car alone is to enter a time warp to a very strange time in the marque’s history – the dash dials for instance look to be borrowed from a Ford Econoline.

Its spartan interior is punctuated by the radically utilitarian drivetrain that enjoys no power steering whatsoever. At speed this, in my opinion, provides a shockingly accurate amount of road feel for a car this big, something akin to my 911 but nearly twice as long. As long as you’re not trying to valet it yourself on a hill, this is a massive bonus in terms of drivability.

As for this gallery, it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we have planned around this particular XJ220, stay tuned…

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4 years ago

I too have fond memories of taking the driver’s seat of an XJ220 in Need for Speed. I know the XJ220 lacked some of the sophistication and eccentricity of its European stablemates, but to me, there’s something truly special and unique about that long sweeping body and twin-turbocharged powerplant. Alongside the McLaren F1 and the EB110s, this was truly an exciting time for automotive lovers: naturally aspirated V12s, twin-turbo V6s and V8s, and quad-turbo behemoths! The pinnacle era of supercars–possibly even for automotive in general.

4 years ago

so. freaking. cool.

I remember racing (crashing) the XJ220 Race Car on Gran Turismo as a little kid.

4 years ago

Beautiful! Picked out a model (same colour) of this when I was 8 or 9. Still just as awesome to me now as it was then!

Martin Philippo
Martin Philippo(@martin-philippo)
4 years ago

….. so beautiful……

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss(@itsnicolas)
4 years ago

I never saw gauges on a door before… not even in an Econoline.