TWR announces second-coming with eye-catching V12 Jaguar XJS | Top Gear
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TWR announces second-coming with eye-catching V12 Jaguar XJS

Magnus Walker is one of the key personnel playing a huge part in the big cat’s development process

Published: 13 Nov 2023

Making a comeback after a two-decade hiatus, storied British racing and engineering outfit Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) has revealed its maiden project will be... a tricked out V12 Jaguar XJS.

A partnership with one of car culture’s most famous beard and hat combos, Magnus Walker and conceptual design guru, Khyzyl Saleem has been struck to help bring the all-new TWR XJS to life. The duo will be responsible for reimagining the XJS - which was originally built between 1975 and 1996 - for the 21st century.

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Magnus Walker has been involved in every step of the car’s creation process. Having him on board should give enthusiasts enough of a reason to be optimistic about the final product, given that he built his reputation from restoring old 911s into machines of pure anarchy.

Speaking on the XJS and his new role, Magnus said: “I was approached by TWR to do something I actually want to do: to build on the XJS. The original TWR put Jaguar on the map in the late ’70s, ’80s, and into the ’90s. TWR explained the project, which was just what I was looking to do, and I was in. The stars aligned perfectly.”

He continues: “Our XJS has to be drivable in real world situations. From idle to throttle transition, when it’s stuck on the freeway in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I’m about drivability, usability, practicality. If I am involved, I’m involved all the way – 110%. I am excited to be part of this experience, build, rebirth, resurrection, this next generation.”

Khyzyl Saleem on the other hand has been working with TWR for a while now, and will use his (considerable) talents to help visualise the perfect modern shape to cocoon Magnus’ mechanical voodoo beneath.

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“There’s an incredible story there, and to be a part of that, to help bring it into a new era, is a very exciting prospect,” said Khyzyl. “The XJS has been seen as sort of unloved, a difficult second album to the E-Type. There’s an obvious history with it and TWR, and to have the chance to give it a new life is special.”

Founded in 1976 and known for working on a number of private performance car commissions, TWR struck a close relationship with Jaguar which yielded a race programme for the XJS. The car eventually entered the European Touring Car Championship and took a number of victories. This fruitful collaboration then reached its zenith with the TWR-Jaguar XJR-9, which won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1990.

And now thanks to its founding father Tom Walkinshaw’s son, Fergus, the brand has made a much-anticipated return and operates from its base in Newbury, Berkshire. Fergus will look ahead to delivering even more bespoke creations that rekindle the spirit of TWR’s heyday.

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