Two Not-To-Miss Rare And High Performance Jaguars At Petrolicious Drivers’ Meeting
Jaguar Land Rover is bringing not one but two must-see Jaguars to Petrolicious Drivers’ Meeting, at Bicester Heritage this Sunday, May 12. The two cars in question are a Project 8 and an XJ220. In both cases they’ll be a rare chance to witness the car, and in both cases they are cars worth witnessing—representing sheer abandon in the quest for performance. They’ll be on display on the Bicester Heritage Technical Site.
The Project 8, launched last year, is limited to 300 units and Jaguar has said it’s the most extreme performance of its models, conceived as a track car primarily, albeit one also road-legal and viable. The car shunned the modern trends in the automotive industry, by being a 5.0-litre supercharged V8, four-door track machine. It is loosely based on the regular Jaguar XE—very loosely as only the front doors and roof are carried over from the production car–and is aimed directly at limited run specials like the BMW M4 GTS.
The Project 8 is the most powerful Jaguar road car to date, capable of 200mph, as well as of reaching 60mph from zero in 3.3 seconds, with its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine producing 592bhp and 516 torques. The adjustable rear wing and splitter, plus its diffuser, reduced lift by 205% and contribute to 122kg of claimed downforce at 186mph, with much of the panels made of carbon fiber. Bringing it all together, the P8 set a Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record for a road-legal four-door saloon of 7min 21 seconds, as well as a fastest lap there for a Jaguar of any description. The performance was reflected in the price, some £149,995.
The Jaguar XJ220 meanwhile has inimitable status. It was for a time considered a white elephant, yet today it is revered almost for the very same reasons. Its quirky and troubled past combined with its rarity—only something like 282 units were made—have made it a true collectors’ item. The concept started as an after-hours project among Jaguar engineers and designers, who envisaged a high end supercar that might even partake in Group B racing, being driven to the track, winning, then being driven home again, in the classic style of the Jaguar C-type.
The project grew, somewhat on a wing and a prayer, to the point that when the concept car was unveiled to the public at the 1988 British International Motor Show in Birmingham the positive reception prompted Jaguar to put the four-wheel-drive V12 supercar into production–and over 1000 people paid the £50,000 deposit for one. Fate then took hand though, and a variety of factors conspiring against the car, including the 1990s recession and a switch to a V6 engine and rear-wheel-drive, meant that sales fell way short of expectation, and production ceased in 1994.
This was not before though the XJ220 acquired the badge of being the fastest production car on the planet, clocking 217mph, an honor it held until the McLaren F1 came along. It also circulated the Nordschleife in 7min 36.46s, which made it the fastest production car around the track at the time. The XJ220 even made it to Le Mans too, and won the GT category in 1993. Though appropriately to the car’s ill-starred nature, it was subsequently disqualified for not having catalytic converters.
The Jaguars on display will be one of the star attractions at the Petrolicious Drivers’ Meeting at the renowned Bicester Heritage, in Oxfordshire, UK, on Sunday May 12. For more about the show see this story.
General attendance tickets are available for purchase here for £12.50, and remaining tickets will be sold at the gate for £15.00. Petrolicious Members and kids under 16 get in free.
Images courtesy of Will Broadhead