This hero drives his 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 on the street

At the tail-end of the 1980s, Tom Walkinshaw was dreaming up ways in which he could go to Le Mans and claim victory. He wanted to do so with his Jaguar Sport partners, and he wanted to do so in a Jaguar vehicle. In 1988, the Jaguar XJR-9 was born and it set out to slap other Group C racing teams right across their faces.
In its inaugural season, the XJR-9 took its gorgeous Silk Cut livery and won six out of the 11 races of the World Sports Prototype Championship series. These were races won at places like Monza, Silverstone, Fuji, and Jarama. Most importantly though, this includes a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Using the XJR-9 as a sort of mold, Tom Walkinshaw Racing produced a road version which was called the XJR-15. The cockpit was made a bit wider and the roof was raised up so normal wealthy humans could sit inside in relative comfort compared to the race car. Still, there sits a 6.0-liter V12 engine out back, which is good for 450 horsepower. And it’s all metered out to the rear wheels by way of an unsynchronized six-speed manual gearbox.
The mighty XJ220 came later and it broke on through the 200 mile-per-hour mark. But the XJR-15 before it was the first road car to wear a full carbon-fiber body. With its V12 howling, it would rip from a stop to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds and could continue on to a top speed of just over 190 miles per hour. This was in 1991, mind you.
Today, there’s one on the road owned by a man named Jasbir Dhillon. He drives it. He takes it to read the morning paper, and he takes it to get some coffee. The wonderful Mr Dhillon drives his road-legal race car on the streets around Nashville, and he does so with a smile on his face.
This man is a hero. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

19 responses to “This hero drives his 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 on the street”

  1. Brainrants Avatar

    What a great video, and bravo to the owner for actually driving it! He definitely seems like the type of enthusiast that should own cars like this.

  2. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    Wow, how did I not know this car existed?

    1. nanoop Avatar

      This is due to the anonymous nomenclature, the cars are labeled all similar, xks, xjs, xks etc, an XJR15 can easily slip through the guards. It’s easy to miss one.
      X is for experimental. Originally a sidecar company they never felt comfortable with automobiles.
      j is for Jaguar,
      s is for Swallow (used when senior engineers took the lead)
      s is also for sports, of course (see XKSS)
      k is for koupe, or kabriolet, depending on the roof material.
      R is for recumbent, expressing a seating position
      The numbers expressed the horse power, top speed, design goal for the mean distance until failure, or number of seats.
      A dash expresses a feature-rich dashboard.

      1. kogashiwa Avatar

        I want to believe all these points.

        1. Vairship Avatar

          It DOES look a little cramped for a 15-seater, but I’m sure it is a GLORIOUS minivan to drive!

      2. anonymic Avatar

        For ze Germans; For Mercedes: K is kurz, German for short, as in wheel base. L is Licht, or lightweight. S is Sport, never Sports unless you want to sound like a drunk.
        For BMW, T is Turbo and i means injected and is meaningless since all cars have been fuel injected for the last 27 years, so get one of those if you want your car to look drunk.

    2. crank_case Avatar

      Always lived in the shadow of the XJ220 and was really built by TWR rather than Jaguar, but so much cooler.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Doing both cars was such a strange move, and it was not really surprising that neither was successful. Of course it is hard to separate that from the effects of the recession that came at the wrong time, but surely a car that was 75% XJR15 and 25% XJ220 (mainly the interior) would have been the right thing to do.

        1. crank_case Avatar

          They only did one though really (The XJ220) and the XJR15 was TWR going, why don’t we build a few road cars? and Jaguar saying OK..
          The XJ220 was a combo of poor timing, and the finished car being very little like was what was promised initially. In hindsight, you’d say they should have ploughed money into an XJS/E-Type successor, or a sub XJ saloon sooner, but hindsights a great thing.

          1. outback_ute Avatar

            Yes aware of that, just doing a case of ‘what if?’; one supercar plus an XJS replacement would have been a much better situation. Then again Jaguar weren’t in the strongest position then, as the XK8 being a revised XJS rather than a new car illustrates.

          2. crank_case Avatar

            Funny thing, just reading up on this. The XJR-15 and XJ220 represent two stages of Jaguarsports (Jaguar/TWR) race cars. The XJR15 is related to the XJR9 with its V12, but XJR9 replacement used the Rover Metro 6R4 V6, which jaguar bought the rights to, as smaller forced induction engines were more competitive at the time. Plus it seems Jaguar didn’t have the cash to create a new V12 with the efficiency/power/emissions desired.

    3. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Hopefully you’ve heard of the Le Mans winning car that it’s based on.
      But everyone can be forgiven for forgetting the five (only) XJR15 LMs that were made. With a 7.4 litre 700 bhp (522 kW; 710 PS) version of the V12 (5.3 litre 450 hp ,336 kW) they are a little faster. It’s about time they were remembered.
      If that central air intake looks familiar, you might be reminded of another car from the same designer, Peter Stevens, the McLaren F1.
      Mr Stevens designed some other cars as well over the years and has had quite a varied career. Perhaps worthy of celebration too.

      1. Fuhrman16 Avatar

        Oh yeah, I’ve known about the LeMans race car, just didn’t know they made a road going version.

      2. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        I feel fortunate that I’ve actually seen the Silk Cut Jag wheeled around a race track. Not during a race but just during an exhibition of the car, with maybe 40 people in total present to see it.
        It ran next to the XJR-13, to boot.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          Wow. Any piccies?

          1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
            Jeff Glucker

            Forgive the absolutely shit photos, I knew not what I was doing with a camera then…

          2. Rover 1 Avatar
            Rover 1

            I’d forgotten that. Thanks for the link. Those pictures are quite good, only one is blurry. 🙂

  3. Alff Avatar

    A few years ago TTAC published a rather less enthusiastic portrait of the XJR-15 and XJ220. That’s the way most of TTAC rolls, though.

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    One of the most beautiful English shapes of all time.
    Among cars, that is.