Go Behind the Scenes of Bridgestone’s Jaguar XJ220 New Tire Project
New rubber gives the King Kitty of the Nineties a second chance at life.
When it debuted in the early 1990s, the Jaguar XJ220 was ahead of its time. In an era when supercars were as defined by giant V12 engines as they were by their exotic appearance, the giant Jag's 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 seemed underwhelming—even though it could push the low-slung monster to a top speed of 212 miles per hour, making it the fastest production car on the planet at the time.
Flash forward to 2017, however, and the XJ220's powertrain seems right in line with the latest in performance car powertrains. Indeed, the all-new 2017 Ford GT also uses a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6—albeit one that cranks out 107 more peak horsepower. But while the Jag's engine may be as competitive as ever, the iconic supercar is still a 25-year-old vehicle, built with the eccentricities of an earlier age—such as oddly-sized 345/34/18 tires out back and 255/45/17 ones in front, which are more or less impossible to find in the mid-Twenty-Teens.
Which is why Bridgestone partnered up with Jaguar XJ220 restorer Don Law to whip up new tires specially designed for the big cat's chunky wheels.
As we at The Drive reported last year, the project was about as legit as it could be without being run out of Jaguar Land Rover headquarters; not only did the Bridgestone crew round up an XJ220 test mule for development purposes, the tire company even grabbed the supercar project's chief engineer
Now that the task is finish, Bridgestone has decided to celebrate with a documentary chronicling the journey that brought new tires (and a new lease on life) to this quarter-century-old British speed machine. It's a great video, filled with in-depth interviews, behind-the-scenes footage of the new tire's development—and of course, plenty of beauty shots of one of the sexiest cars to ever set a wheel on public roads.
That said, the whole video is a full 42 minutes long, so you may want to save it for some time when you can kick back with a nice gin and tonic—but be sure you watch it one way or another.