The TWR Supercat Is a Kickass Supercharged V12-Powered Modified Jaguar XJS

TWR’s first sports car of its own is a stunning take on one of the U.K.’s quintessential grand tourers.

byNico DeMattia|


I see Jaguar XJSes for sale on Facebook Marketplace all the time, and they're always tempting. There may not be a better displacement-per-dollar deal on the used market. They're cheap—regularly under $10,000 in varying conditions, from what I've found—and are available with hulking V12 engines, so I always fantasize about their kickass project car potential. Unfortunately, their reliability, or lack thereof, always scares me off. Thankfully, someone else took the plunge, went far overboard with it, and created something genuinely cool: the TWR Supercat.

The Supercat is made by U.K.-based TWR Performance, in collaboration with famous Porsche tuner Magnus Walker. Walker acted as a design consultant for the project, partnering with TWR's Khyzyl Saleem to pen the reimagined XJS, a tribute to the touring car that originally put Tom Walkinshaw Racing on the map 40 years ago.

"I love the Jaguar XJS as an iconic expression of a British GT. TWR’s uncompromising approach to delivering pure performance and driver involvement takes this to another level. I couldn’t be more proud to have contributed to this landmark statement of TWR’s bold future," Walker was quoted in a release.

While you can clearly see the Jaguar XJS roots, the Supercat's dramatic custom bodywork gives me Aston Martin Valour-vibes (though, not nearly as pretty). There are some interesting design elements that combine the original XJS' styling with modern design. The headlights, for example, feature the same hexagonal housing as before, but now with twin-ring LED lamps. The hood shape remains mostly the same but gains very aggressive fender flares, a bulge, and some air vents. The back end sports even bigger flares and side-exit exhausts. And of course, you can't miss the massive ducktail spoiler and rear diffuser.

However, it's under the skin where the Supercat is most interesting. TWR didn't say what sort of V12 is under the hood, but it's safe to assume that it's a heavily modified and supercharged version of the original Jag V12. According to TWR, it makes more than 600 horsepower and pairs to a six-speed manual transmission, which makes it pretty much the ideal GT-car powertrain. Considering the XJS' V12 was always more about silky smoothness rather than power and aggression, I'm curious to hear what it sounds like when supercharged and tuned to that degree.

If you want one, it's gonna cost you, though. Only 88 are being built, and they'll start at $281,000. That's a lot more than the $5,000 coupes I see on Marketplace, though less than half the price of British racing contemporary Prodrive's own Impreza 22B revival, so it could be worse. TWR says the Supercat will be available in the U.K., the United States, and other "major international markets."

Is the Supercat the best-looking grand tourer for the money? Seeing as how you can get a new Aston Martin DBS for just a little more dough, not quite—but then, the DBS doesn't come with a manual. Hell, you can get an older DBS, the one Bond drove in Casino Royale, for half the cash and that one does come in stick. But the Supercat is something different: a unique, extremely rare, custom-designed version of an underappreciated classic. For many collectors, that will be enough to justify the price tag.

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