13 January 2009

Jag at 225mph

Jaguar took its new XFR to 225mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats

See more pics of the XFR

Meet the fastest Jag in the history of Jags – the XFR. Yep, the car you could have on your driveway later this year is a car that’ll do 225mph. You read that right: 225mph.

That’s what it did in the hands of Paul Gentilozzi at Bonneville last year, in a secret attack on the famous salt flats. Slipping under the media radar, Jag gave the car to Gentilozzi and his Rocketsports firm (who have won several Trans-Am and a Daytona 24-hour titles in a racing XKR), and said “go play”.

Which is exactly what they did. Taking a production XFR and only tweaking it slightly – fitting a dirty great wing, remapping the ECU and removing the catalytic converters to push power to 600bhp – Gentilozzi and his team took just nine runs to achieve the speed. That was on standard road tyres, too.

The previous fastest road-going Jag was the XJ220, driven by Martin Brundle around Nardo’s high-speed bowl in 1992. He did 217mph (equivalent to 223mph on a straight road).

Gentilozzi was keen to break that, and despite Bonneville being flooded in places, he carved out a course (albeit a slightly curvy one to avoid the standing water) and went for it – with 225.765mph coming on the first run of his second day on the Flats. But he might have gone quicker, if he hadn’t got sideways at 200mph…

And luckily, they filmed the whole thing...

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