GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Jaguar XJ220

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silver_xj220.jpg


SPEX

Year: 1992 
Host: GT2, GT3, GT4
 
Country: England
Class: Exotic Sports Car
Type: 2-door coupe
 
 
Price: $1,000,000 (GT2) $780,000 (GT3) $749,140 (GT4)

 
GT2 Length: 194.1" // Width: 87.4" // Height: 45.27"
GT4 Length: 191.3" // Width: 78.7" // Height: 45.3"
Wheelbase: 103.9"
Overhang: 7' 6"
Track: 67.3" [F] 62.5" [R]
Ground Clearance: 4.53"
Weight: 3,031 lbs (GT2) 3,024 (GT4)

Layout; Mid Engine / Rear Drive
Tires 255/45-17 [F] 345/35-18 [R]
Suspension: unequal length wishbones / coils / anti-roll bars
Brakes: vented discs
 
Engine: 3.5 liter DOHC V6
Aspiration: intercooled twin turbo

`````````````````````GT2``````````````````````````````````GT4```````
Tested HP: 549 @ 7,000 rpm             517 @ 7,200
" Torque: 
476 @ 4,500 rpm               473 @ 4,500

Credits per HP: $1,821.50                   $1449.01
Lbs. per HP:     5.52                              5.85
Lbs. per Trq:                                         6.39
Hp per Liter:   156.85                       @147.74

Fuel System: Zytec fuel injection
Bore x Stroke: 3.70" x 3.31"
Valves per Cyl: 4
Compression Ratio: 8.3:1

GT2 Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 8,000
GT4 Idle: 1,900 // Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 7,500

Transmission: 5-speed manual
 
 
`````````````````````GT2````````````````````````````GT4``````````````
0-60 mph: 3.939 seconds            3.683 seconds
0-100mph: 7.535 seconds           7.416 seconds

400 M:   11.603 @ 132 mph       11.709 @ 120 mph
1 Kilom:
20.568 @ 168 mph      20.569 @ 166 mph

Test Track: 1:24.371                       1:58.194

100-zero mph: no test                3.85 seconds
 
GT2 Top Speed at Redline
1st: 29 mph (this doesn't seem right...)
2nd: 85 mph
3rd: 127 mph
4th: 190 mph
5th: 192.45 mph @ 5,500 rpms

GT4 Top Speed at Redline
1st: 66 mph
2nd: 101 mph
3rd: 139 mph
4th: 181 mph
5th: 198.54 mph @ 6,000 rpm
 


 

magenta_xj220.jpg


-----------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY --------------------------------

Let's face it, on some level, we all wish we could be Jay Leno. I'm not talking about the part where we get to go "to work" for an hour, stand around telling lame pre-written jokes, nor am I talking about the part where we have to compete for ratings against an aging guy with a bad hairpiece. I'm talking about the other part. Cars. Lots and lots of cars. We have a car collection, matter of fact. Everybody reading this wishes or at some point wished they had a car collection, and the ones sitting there saying "well that's not me" are simply lying. Collecting cars is part of what Gran Turismo is all about.

Now here's an impressive one for the car-collector in all of us. If you were like me as a kid, you had a car collection. I had my Matchbox, my Hot Wheels, my Aurora/AFX slot cars, and (I'm assuming) so did you. Although the Jaguar XJ220 was not around when I was young, it certainly would have been one of THE cars to aspire towards.

As an adult, I'm not really that much different *chuckles*. I still love cars, still love collecting them, only now most of them are virtual...a collection of two-dimensional polygons made to look three-dimensional. But my passion, my curiosity, my childlike-side, is still the same. How about you?  

As it appears in various Gran Turismos, the XJ220 can either be a perpetual loser, or a capable winner when driven by the computer. Anyone who has raced the GT2 World Cup or Cte d'Azur Enduro of GT3 has probably seen the XJ220. Typically it'll finish 4th place or worse. GT4 is kinder than the others. Here this high-priced exotic is placed against others in various arenas (Pan/Euro Series, Premium Sports Car Lounge...) where it has more success. It doesn't always win, though, despite having up to 100 horses or more than some of its Ai competition. So, which game is right? Is this car a pathetic showboat, or does it have a place in our collection outside of our garages?

In reality, the XJ220 is a mighty car, capable of winning any race it'll qualify. Perhaps the computer-driven versions are running stock power (549 hp) and this is why the Toyota GT-1 and others (including you!) will simply see this Jag as just another metallic hunk to get by. 
 
As GT2's dealership info tells us, the Jaguar XJ220 was a mighty embarassment for Jaguar. Not only were customers disappointed when it was finally released 3 years after its conception, but financially many of them couldn't afford one after the European market went sour. Initially, some these cars sat unsold. Some other prospective buyers were disappointed by Jaguar's promise of a V12 engine matched to an all-wheel drive layout, which didn't go as planned. More on that later.
 
A good percentage of so-called "customers" were willing to pay the car's pricetag in full, but also ready to sell it immediately, since they knew they'd make a huge profit. Finally, there were the celebrities. Elton John bought one, and some sultan dude (forget his name, sorry) snagged one also.
 
So, "220" was meant to portray the targeted speed of the car when stock, as in 220 miles per hour. Some websites also say 220 was the prospective number of cars Jaguar planned to build. In reality, I believe 212 mph (real-life) was the fastest this car could get, but there were actually more than 220 made in total according to some sites.

Originally, the XJ220 was somewhat of a ‘spare time’ project for Jaguar engineers. On weekends or whenever these guys had extra hours to tool around for fun, some of them began to develop this beast. In 1988, the XJ220 Prototype was shown at the British Motor Show, and was promised to have all-wheel drive with a V12 engine; but things didn't turn out that way. What the game info in GT2 doesn't tell us is the aftermath: some of those rich folks who prepaid about 50,000 for their cars later wound up placing lawsuits against Jaguar, as what was promised wasn't delivered.
 
But is it really that bad of a car? Poor Jaguar. In Gran Turismo, their coupes and sedans are heavy and are bearish to handle, especially when compared to many other grand tourers. The XKR Coupe for instance looks sleek, but is often portrayed as a loser in various races. Even the XJ220 race car never takes the checkered flag in any event. GT4 happens to be an exception here. XJ220s sometimes win events, like the British GT and Pan/Euro Challenge. And the truth is, if you're a competent high-speed driver and halfway good at tuning, you'll rarely lose in this one, assuming you've placed the car in a situation where it's not being overkilled.
 
This car starts a bit on the heavy side at just over 3,000 pounds. Like all Jaguars, it looks classy and there are sixteen (yes, sixteen) colors to choose from...mostly metallics. It's not an easy choice. Most of them look so stunning! Should I go with the Seafrost Metallic? The Meteorite Metallic? The Topaz? The Alpine? The Emerald? Yummm.
 
Finally, I settled on Carnival Metallic, which makes the car look as if it's been glossed over with a hundred bottles of red wine. For GT3, I bought an Emerald Metallic after once again debating. Emerald is a deep, dark sativa green...mmmmm. The choice of color is an important one. With all the credits this car costs, it's important we get a color we dig, you see.

In GT2 it's possible to spend even more money on a racing kit. Racing kit options for are limited unfortunately to two colors: yellow and white. Kind of a disappointment, but we'll live. The good news is that full weight reductions take off 443 pounds.

Oddly, GT3 won't let us remove any weight. Not that I want to--who wants to throw genuine Connolly leather seats to the scrap yard? ;-) GT4 only lets us remove Stage 3 material...2,931 pounds is the lightest we can get in this game. For those who don't think this is enough, the Jaguar XJ220 LM can be won from the Pan/Euro Series. Pretty decent prize, though at 2,600-ish pounds, it is still rather heavy for some of this game's full-scale top racing (World Cup, for instance).
 
At the Test Track facilities, I took this Jag for a spin. It's unusual to find a mid-engine car  with this kind of power that'll handle banked curves without slipping or spinning, but the XJ220 just glides thru the turns with ease, probably due to its enormous girth of 78 inches and higher-than-usual downforce. This car was based on real-life racers, after all, and even the real-life version has a suspension modeled with Group C parts. The body-shell is crafted from lightweight aluminum honeycomb.
 
Despite all its promise, the XJ220 had a short production run, which only lasted from 1991 till 1995. Kind of a shame, since at the time it was the fastest production car available in the world.
 

 

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xj220_lm.jpg
XJ220 LM Edition

--------------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN ----------------------------------
 
 
Alrite, time to play!!!
 
There are some awesome selections here: four levels of turbocharging in some GT games for starters, all of which will take your car up to 959 horsepower! That's for the GT2 car...in GT3, we can go even further!! GT4 has us with either a Stage 3 or Stage 4 turbo...at the most we're talkin' of a randy 932 hp @ 7,200 rpm with 712 foot-pounds of torque maximum at 4,500, but don't forget the XJ220 LM in this game, which can possibly rate over 1,000 horses.

In reality, you may never need this much for any Gran Turismo race. I find that with a Stage 1 turbo (655
hp @ 7,000 rpm), there's rarely a race to be lost in the 2nd game, but in the third and fourth Gran Turismo (where weight is a huge disadvantage) you'll eventually need those stronger spoolers. There are problems with these later games, however, problems we shall certainly discuss.
 
So there are pluses and minuses here. Okay, sure you get lots of power in the XJ220. But you have to pay for it. Stage 3 power costs 40,000 credits, and Stage 4 costs 74,000 in GT2, but $90,000 in GT3 or 4! Yes it's worth it, but when you add the actual cost of the car some may feel ripped off. “If I'm gonna pay all this, shouldn't I be getting all the trimmings?” some mutter in self-pity.
 
Good thing is you don't have to buy engine balancing, computer, or any of that. Drivetrain parts also come standard with a fully-modifyable transmission, but it's only a 5-speed. GT3's XJ220 is cheaper ($780,000) than the car in GT2, but you'll have to buy suspension, transmission, tires, brakes and limited-slip parts if you want to modify! Mmmm lets see, what else...
 
Acceleration is predictably blistering, and the real-life car can supposedly top 200 mph. At the Test Track in a car with stock tires, I could only manage between 192 to 198, depending on the game, but with some patience, perhaps max speed could have been higher than this. I don't have that sort of patience, though. I rarely drive more than two laps while doing Max Speed testing. 
 
Like I said earlier, in most races you shouldn't need anything higher than Stage 1 power. Even the Tuned Turbo Cup or the Gran Turismo All Stars races (GT2) can be stolen with this lower-grade turbo and a good pair of soft slick tires. Actually two pairs. :-) Good suspension and differential tuning are a must if you're gonna learn to master the XJ220 without extra horses, but it's also possible to master. I bought the two traction control devices for 50,000 credits (GT2) each, yet found that I didn't really use them much. Oh well. GT3 or 4 you'll need them perhaps, but only as you pile on more and more power.
 
Oh, the downforce...


----------------------CHASSIS / HANDLING-----------------------

Here, it's all about tuning; whether your car has a race-kit or not ultimately won't make a difference. If you're keeping it real (i.e., not relying on pure horsepower as a way to overkill weaker cars) you really gotta pay attention to your settings. There's been a couple races that I lost in an XJ220 due to bad tuning.


GT2
Case in point: the GT2 World Cup at Midfield, turn 4. If you're not familiar, this is the 180 turn after the first tunnel. For whatever reason, the guys who paved the tarmac here didn't get it as smooth as the rest of the track, and since my car had tight springs, it bounced its way into a full spinout twice! Usually, Midfield is one of the easier races, so I skipped track testing here and lost the race. Anyways, since the XJ220 (like lots of specialty race cars in GT2) hasn't got a brake balancer, you may find you'll have to play with your dampers and stabilizers more than usual. High downforce settings will keep this car planted most of the time, but can make it too grippy. Too grippy. OH, how I wish I could say the words "too grippy" for these later versions.... 
 
For those going up against full race cars in GT3 in the road car, you'll have to get those brakes, tires & suspension to your liking...here, the car likes to understeer a bit into turns, yet grips like a possesive ex-girlfriend out of them. You'll only have to worry about loss of traction, fishtailing, and other oversteerish concerns once the power is boiling out of that Stage 3 or 4 turbo.
 
GT4 features understeer (oh joy). Lots and lots of understeer, despite the fact that aerodynamics can be played with. Hold on, I don't think I was clear there. LOTS AND LOTS OF UNDERSTEER. So much, you'll be amazed you just paid nearly three-quarters of a million credits for this one!!!!! Getting the picture? It literally gets to be painful, the way the XJ220 is portrayed in this game!

The GT4 XJ220 is pretty much like the GT3 one, except understeer is ten times worse. Miles of braking (it seems) are needed to slow this beast, even though my braking test in the SPECS section showed this as an average braker, rather than below-average. But in the real world of racing, you'll swear up and down and all around you've braked enough...then you get into that corner and the XJ220 still understeers massively. It really is somewhat shameful, to be honest. This is how the car is behaving on Sport tires, mind you, NOT N-quality tires.

And again, leaving corners is not a concern. Once the XJ220 is lined-up correctly, the rear plants itself just fine with no issues, unless lots and lots of power is being used. If so, some TCS might be in order. But most tuning in this game will be done to avoid understeer, not oversteer...even when power is mighty.
 
This is not much of a car for drifters in any game obviously, tho you can occasionally get it sideways here and there to get by another vehicle. I'm not gonna go into a whole lecture on car tuning here; basically there are tons of websites that already offer this sort of advice, all I'm saying is tuning the suspension, brakes, and possibly wings are crucial to winning in this Jag.

Summary:
It's a tempermental cat, more of a cross between a cheetah and a flying saucer than a tree-loving jaguar. Too bad Jaguar didn't put all-wheel drive in this one, can you imagine the possibilities?!? 

Overall, it's a worthy car in some cases. We can add it to our collection if money is not so much of an object of concern. But beware, for as the saying goes: "looks aren't everything". Neither is horsepower. Neither is being based on a world-class Group C aeromobile.

 
 

 

PROS -----------------------------------------------

1). Lots of power from a 3.5 liter V6 engine. All four turbo upgrades available in some games, but you'll only need the first one or two (if that) to win most races. In a stock or lightly-tuned engine, turbo lag is virtually non-existent.
 
2). V12-like torque from a V6! 2nd gear can be tapped out of tight corners with stupendous uptake from near-idle speeds. A very wide torque range, despite what seems like a what should be a spiky engine.
 
3). Acceleration is tops, and speed can be manipulated via the custom gearbox (GT2) that comes standard with this Jaguar. Most won't need to change GT3 or GT4's fixed gearboxes at all to guarantee acceptable performance.
 
4). Racing tires, drivetrain parts, exhaust equipment, etc. all comes standard in GT2.
 
5). This one comes in 16 colors, and Poly Digital didn't fuck up the gloss texturing so they all look primo in GT2....downright delicious in later games.
 
6). Lots of downforce. Rarely will a XJ220 catch air.
 
7). Over 400 pounds get removed when the racing body is bought. (GT2)
 
8). Good traction with the right tires. Traction devices aren't necessary buys for many races, and your Super Soft Slick tires will be collecting dust 'cause you won't need them to win.
 

CONS --------------------------------------------------

1). The pricetag is high, and turbo options cost extra.
 
2). 5-speed tranny in a supercar?
 
3). Suspension, brake, and differential tuning has to be rather precise since this mid-engine devil will occasionaly want to bounce and spin.
 
4). There's only two racing colors if you buy the GT2 race-kit. In real life, the XJ220 C was painted British green; the XJ220 XJR-9 was white with purple & yellow accents...a bit more desireable than just yellow or white.
 
5a). High reliance on downforce makes the XJ220 unstable and prone to understeer when following other cars into corners. (GT2 only).
 
5b). GT3: the road car feels overconfident when racing amongst non-race cars; yet is tricky to handle when racing amongst full race cars!

5c). GT4: All the understeer you didn't expect.  
 
6). Too annoyingly noisy for some players. Many in real-life were disappointed by the loud, buzzy engine, which lacked the smoother V12 they were promised.
 
7). Brakes can't be modified (GT2 again).
 
8). Brakes, limited-slip, tranny, and suspension can be modified in GT3, but you gotta buy all these parts. The final price winds up higher than in GT2...$1,134,600 in total!
 
9). No weight reductions for the XJ220 road car in GT3. Want a lighter car with downforce? Good luck trying to win the full race-car.
 
10). I can't help wishing for that V12 and 4- wheel drive layout Jaguar initially promised! Ford RS200 on steroids. 

 

Published: May 8, 2005

Edited for GT3 & 4 content: several times. Latest edit being November 25, 2010
 
 
 

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