Motor (Australia)

“WE GOT THE CAR ON THE SHOW STAND AT 3AM”

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NICK HULL, XJ220 DESIGN TEAM

The XJ220 was Jaguar’s most controvers­ial supercar. Designer Nick Hull was involved throughout, from idealism to production reality…

‘The XJ220 was to be a technology showcase: quad-cam V12, Ferguson four-wheel drive, flush glass, active aero. These were all limited-run production possibilit­ies, so it needed to be road-legal, not a reskinned XJR-6 Le Mans car. In early meetings in [engineerin­g director] Jim Randle’s office, nobody had really considered the interior, so I seized upon that as an opportunit­y.

‘For exterior design the XJ13 was the inspiratio­n, but the sports car project, XJ41, was taking Jaguar back to its Sayer roots with very soft form language – unusual for the ’80s – and actually the Buick Wildcat and MG EX-E were influentia­l with new mid-engined proportion­s and dark glass canopies.’

‘When the production car was moved to TWR it was a mix of race engineers and production staff We needed to remove 400kg to reach performanc­e targets, but the 200mm reduction in wheelbase [the engine switched from a V12 to a turbo V6] was the biggest change.

‘I’ve only driven the XJ220 once. I was intimidate­d by its width and warned it was easy to get out of shape. You wouldn’t want to face Tom Walkinshaw after bending one, believe me.’

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