Jaguar XJR-15

The Jaguar XJR-15 was produced between 1990 and 1992 by Jaguar Sport, with the intention of the car being a racer for the road.  Jaguar Sport was a joint venture between Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR).  Fifty-three examples of the XJR-15 were built, with the first 26 built as road cars and the last 27 homologated specifically for racing.

Cars were based mechanically on the 1988 Le Mans winning Silk Cut Jaguar XJR-9.  The mid-mounted 6 Litre 24 valve V12 produced 450 horsepower (335kW) and 570Nm of torque and was mated to a 6 speed non-synchromesh gearbox.  The carbon fibre body and kept weight down to only 1050kg, enabling cars to reach 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 200mph (320km/h).  The body was designed by Tony Southgate and styled by Peter Stevens, who later designed the iconic McLaren F1.  The XJR-15 also came with fully independent suspension, Bilstein shock absorbers, steel disc brakes and AP Racing 4 pot calipers.  Front tyres were 245mm wide while the rear tyres were 335mm, helping to put all that power to the ground.

Racing versions competed in a one make series in 1991 known as the Jaguar Intercontinental Challenge, with races held alongside F1 championship events at Monaco, Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps.  Notable entrants included multiple Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst 1000 winner Jim Richards, ex-F1 Driver David Brabham and  race car driver and Fifth Gear presenter Tiff Needell.  German Armin Hahne won the series and with it $1 million worth of prize money.

The major downfall of the car however was the price and in 1991, Jaguar priced the car at a staggering $1 million.  Another problem was that the Ferrari F40 produced more power and out-performed the XJR-15 at half the cost.

One of the road going versions (Chassis #18) is located at the Gosford Classic Car Museum and is currently for sale.  I was fortunate enough to see this car while visiting the museum and this beautiful blue XJR-15 has only travelled a mere 439 miles (706km).  It presents in showroom condition and has extensive documentation and history.

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