Gallery: the long road to the Jaguar F-Type
Ian Callum, director of design, talks exclusively on the cars that led Jaguar to today’s all-conquering roadster
Posted: 01 Aug 2014
Ian Callum on… the 1988 XJ220
“Shown as a concept at the 1988 Birmingham Motor show, the XJ220 was dramatic and drew some hugely welcome enthusiasm from the public.
“The design was directed by Geoff Lawson and worked on by Keith Helfet in a skunk works project they called ‘The Saturday Club’. Walkinshaw immediately saw the opportunity and offered to build it. However the concept car really was too big, so its design was rearranged on a shorter wheelbase by Keith. This is why a V6 was adopted — the original 6.2-litre V12 was too long without moving the cabin forward.
“To be honest, I never really liked this car. A little over bloated. Not enough tension. Walkinshaw didn't like it hugely either. That's why he did the XJR 15. Incidentally the V6 engine in the production cars would eventually have very little common with Metro 6R4 rally engine, contrary to popular belief. Almost 100% designed by TWR. Unique. Another myth busted.”