The XJ220-N. The XJ220 that won races

Everyone here is familiar with the Jaguar XJ-220 backstory (1988 show car with V-12, AWD and gullwing doors, to production V-6TT, RWD, no gullwing doors), so that’s all the detail I am going into.

I would like to clear up some misconceptions, mistakes, and general lack of knowledge about three road-legal cars (not C or S cars) modified to compete in the 1993 Italian GT, and how they fared. Just to make sure we all start off on the same page, let me address the C and S cars.

The C cars: 4 XJ220-C cars built by TWR to compete in LeMans. Not road legal. Based on the XJ220, but with much lighter 2 piece carbon fiber bodywork, spartan interiors and specially built race engines capable of 850bhp, plus all the other race bits including suspension, brakes, wider BBS wheels, giant rear wing, open headlights, etc. Three were entered by Jaguar/TWR in the 1993 LeMans race. John Nielsen, David Brabham and David Coulthard won the GT class, beating Porsche by two laps; the other two cars retired, both through engine failure.Win Percy won one race in a C car in the 1993 BRDC, but TWR did not contest the series, entering only that one race.

They then had the Le Mans win revoked because they had no catalytic converters, appealed the decision based on the fact that catalytic converters were not required on road cars in 1993. Won appeal and had win restored, until FIA decided they had missed the deadline for filing the appeal and revoked the win again. Only in France.

The S cars: 6 road going versions of the C cars were built by TWR and denoted XJ220-S. These cars were built with the same lighter carbon fiber bodywork, 680bhp, and uprated suspensions and brakes, with a less spartan interior. These are road legal, but did not compete in any International or National events at the time.

The N cars: At the behest of the Benneton family, TWR built 3 XJ220-N cars to contest the 1993 Italian GT. They had Jaguar VIN plates and are road legal, and they also received TWR chassis plates denoting them as XJ220-N 001, 002 and 003.

While these cars retained their aluminum bodywork, they were significantly lightened by stripping out all seats, carpets, interior, a/c, radio, etc. They received full race suspensions, larger Brembo brakes, wider BBS wheels and larger turbochargers (M27 cases on the compressor side, making them more like T3/T4 hybrids, while still staying within Group N rules).

All 3 cars were delivered to the Top Run race team. Chassis 001 and 002 were given the team’s livery of white paint with light and dark blue stripes down the sides, and assigned race numbers 11 and 12. At some point car #11 was changed to Martini livery. Chassis 003 was kept as a backup and still wears its Silver Spa paint. It was never raced and shows about 400 miles on the odometer.

How did they do: #11 was driven by Vincenzo Bianchi, and #12 driven by Paolo Cutrera. Between the two drivers they racked up 7 podium finishes in the 10 race series. Paolo Cutrera took 1st place at Vallelunga on May 9, 1993. All in all not a bad showing for a privateer team with no factory support.

If anyone is interested, there is a ton of info on this website, which can be searched by car, driver, championship series and date:

If anyone can contribute any more information about these cars it would help. This was all before Instagram and cell phones with video and information is hard to find. I have Mike Moreton’s book on the XJ220, but if anyone has a copy of Philip Porters earlier book (it’s only available in hardcover, no downloads) and would not mind lending it to me for a week, I will pay all shipping charges with insurance and take you out for some laps of Lime Rock when the car is done.

I hope all my friends on this site, as well as everyone else, is safe and healthy!

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Book available on Amazon and Abebooks.

Great stuff, Doc!

Which of the cars you reference is yours?

@Foggyoo- Thank you. i had seen the book on various websites but it seemed like everyone was asking for a ton of money for it, between $400-$600USD. I’ve spent far more than that on first editions, but I only need this book as a reference for Wikipedia whose entries are incorrect. I’ll buy it if no one has a copy to loan, but I’d rather give the $400 to someone who really needs it. I’ve been working on a food drive for the unemployed, because their unemployment benefits run out on July 26 and the riots in major cities are already insane. Imagine when the unemployed lose this benefit and can’t get a job or feed their families. Europeans always wonder why we are so gun-crazed. It’s because we have way more criminal lunatics with guns than the typical european city. Anyway, i hope all is well with you and stay safe.

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Paul- I have XJ220-N TWR Chassis 003. 400 miles on it. Never serviced so the fuel cell foam deteriorated to a sand/mud consistency and some idiot ran it multiple times on a dyno, sucking in all that muck into every pump, filter and line in the car. Plus the tires were old slicks, the non-standard Brembo giganto brakes had badly rusted rotors, we had to have Pagid make us new pads, rebuild the calipers, etc. Now that ATL fuel cells are open again, and Magnecor is back in business, we got the ignition wires and a mockup of the fuel cell to try in. Because that greedy fat guy Don Law wouldn’t sell us any parts, we had to reverse engineer a number of items, and that’s expensive. But now i own the US rights to the ATL XJ220 fuel cell, Pagid brake pads, etc. I don’t know if I would have taken on this project had i known we could not get any parts from Don Law. But the turbos were rebuilt with modern materials and bearings and spool up much faster. According to the turbo builder, each one is good for 500 bhp, total 1,000 bhp but I’m going to leave them at about 600 RWHP for street and a second map for 750 RWHP at the track with race gas. We’ll be dyno tuning in about 3 weeks or so. I just ordered a piggyback knock sensor/timing controller from J&S SafeGuard so at least I won’t have to worry about blowing up my engine. I’d like to get this done already!

How are you coping? Doing anything exciting? Let’s hear from you. Stay safe.

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Well, good: unhappy as to the why of it, but NA 220 owners have a new and friendly source for parts and expertise.

We are OK: super depressed about the Covidiocy that has led to this terrible resurgence, but we can leave that for the Covid threads.

We have had the opportunity to take a little RVcation, since the wiff has had to work, at work, ever since this pestilence has taken over. Drove Margaret a bit, but being the weenie pansy arse Ive become, and the Rover having no AC…I use the Hyundai for most of my required shopping trips!

We are into our hot wave: been in the high 90s now, for a week.

Fortunately, it’s 8% humidity!

Keep us posted as to further progress!

Still debating as to whether $16/ hour is worth it to be a school bus driver.

It’s been two… any results?

Nope. Just got the fuel cell bladder in today. What a nightmare to reverse engineer. So that needs to go in, then all the new fuel lines and pumps. Everything else done. Also putting some nice carpeting in the interior which is removable for track use, but nice for the road. It’s pretty stark as is. So I don’t know when it will be ready for dyno tuning, but hopefully I’ll get it on the track before they shut down in October.

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