Jay Leno is a very lucky guy. Not only does he have one of the best car collections on the planet, it seems like every day someone is taking a rare machine to his famous garage for a personal inspection. The latest someone is a man by the name of Jasbir Dhillon, who recently visited with an uber-rare Jaguar XJR-15.
The XJR-15 isn’t as widely known as its more famous successor, the XJ220. That’s probably because the XJR-15 was a joint effort between Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing to use the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Jaguar XJR-9 race car’s underpinnings in something resembling a road car. Called in to design the body was none other than Peter Stevens, who would later go on to design the McLaren F1.
Production was announced in late 1990 and the first XJR-15 was delivered the following year. It weighed 2,315 pounds and was endowed with awesome handling, an excellent power-to-weight ratio, race-proven reliability, and a 215 mph top speed.
The car was essentially a race car that barely passed as a street car. It would get so loud inside that a special intercom system with a pair of headsets was incorporated in the design. Making all of the noise was a 6.0-liter V-12, tuned to deliver 450 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The engine actually formed a structural piece of the car itself, and the body was built using Kevlar and carbon composites for added strength. Oh, you thought the McLaren F1 was the first road car to do that? Seems like Jaguar was just a step ahead in that game.
Jaguar and TWR built a tick over 50 examples of the XJR-15 in total. Of that run, just 27 were released as road-going versions, each priced at close to a $1 million. The cars rarely come up for sale and when they do, they don’t fetch as much money as you’d expect for something this powerful and rare. The last one that sold went for only $350,000.