When I hear certain names of car manufacturers I always think of a particular car or truck that the name invokes in my mind. Such is the case when ever I hear the name Jaguar, as I instantly picture a 1957 XKSS – man oh man would I love to have that car!Now, to get back on the topic of this article, Jaguar along with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) created this concept in 1988 to develop a road-going version of the XLR-9 Le Mans race car. In order to adapt the XJR-9 for road use there was a number of modifications to increase space and improve access. The decision was made to use the race car as a base in order to create it’s road version. The cockpit was made wider and the roof also was raised to allow more headroom. The first prototype was held up by Le Mans preparations but it was ready for Tom Walkinshaw (TWR) to drive when he came back from France in July 1990.
TWR explicitly developed the XJR-15 as a road-going racing car with influences by other cars such as the Jaguar C and D types, the Ford GT40 and the Ferrari 250 GTO. The car was constructed to comply with British use regulations and could be registered by the owner for road-use in the UK, although with such a limited production run, the car was never officially approved. This car’s production was announced in a press release on November 15, 1990 and it was built by Jaguar Sport in Bloxham Oxfordshire (a subsidiary of TWR) England from 1990 to 1992.
At the end of the production run of the XJR-15, TWR produced a limited run of more powerful variants designated XJR-15 LM. These cars were thought to feature a 451 cubic inch (7.4 liter) V12 based upon the 427 cubic inch (7.0 liter) V12 engine featured in the XJR-9. Bodywork alterations included a larger rear wing, an additional front splitter with air vents in the middle and an air intake situated on the roof to help cool the larger engine. As far as I know there is a limited amount of information about the LM variant, though there are photos to suggest that at least five cars were produced (three in dark green, one in white and one in the same blue as the standard car).
In the end, the XJR-15 as well as the LM version of the car suffered from issues that all Jaguars of that time period experienced and that is a shame but the important thing here is that this extremely rare English Cat was definitely a race car for the street.
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