Currently reading: Jaguar XJS reborn with 600bhp, carbon body and manual gearbox
TWR Supercat revealed as a £225k, limited-run super-GT with analogue appeal

British engineering firm TWR Performance has revealed an outlandish, 600bhp reworking of the Jaguar XJS as its debut production model – complete with carbonfibre bodywork, a supercharged V12 and a manual gearbox.

The first project to be unveiled by the Berkshire-based firm – a firm founded by the son of famed team boss and driver Tom Walkinshaw – sees the 50-year-old British coupé reimagined as a high-performance super-GT, aptly named the Supercat.

The XJS’s sleek, smooth shape has been treated to an aggressive redesign reminiscent of 1980s endurance racers courtesy of digital designer Khyzyl Saleem and renowned Porsche modifier Magnus Walker.

The track width has been significantly extended compared with the original car, with the custom aero disc-style wheels peeking out from a bespoke set of wide arches.

At the front, a large splitter reaches across the vent-heavy front bumper, with halo-style LED lights recessed into the hexagon-shaped apertures that are a key design feature of the original XJS. As with every other panel on the car, it’s an all-new design manufactured from carbonfibre.

At the rear, new brake lights sit above a massive diffuser that spans the width of the car. Flying buttresses flow from the roof to the bootlid, feeding into a sizeable ducktail spoiler, with flics on each side that are reminiscent of the Le Mans-winning Jaguar XJR-9’s rear bodywork.

From behind, the arches bend inwards between the top of the flank and the lower bumper, leaving the heavily cambered wheels on full display.

Under the louvred bonnet – complete with a cooling duct that almost runs for the whole length – sits a supercharged V12 pumping out “in excess of 600bhp”. This is a marked improvement from the original XJS, which produced 333bhp in its most powerful form as the 1988 XJR-S, itself developed by the original TWR firm.

Where the XJR-S featured a three-speed automatic, the Supercat mates its V12 to a six-speed manual. 

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The interior appears to feature redesigned bucket seats and instrument cutouts on both sides of the dashboard. TWR is set to fully reveal the cabin – described as “fundamentally reimagined” – later this year, with the Supercat’s dynamic reveal slated for the summer.

Just 88 Supercats will be built – a number chosen to commemorate TWR’s first Le Mans win in 1988 – with a starting price of £225,000. Deliveries are set to start before the end of the year.

The car has been developed over more than two years by a group of engineers formerly of McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche, with others from the Williams, Mercedes and Renault F1 teams.

When the firm made its public debut last year, TWR Performance founder Fergus Walkinshaw said that the company would “preserve and protect the analogue driving experience in a world where modern performance cars are governed by electronic systems”.

Fergus is the son of Tom Walkinshaw, the British racer and team owner who founded the eponymous firm – often abbreviated to TWR – in 1976.

Founder aside, TWR Performance bears no direct link to the original TWR, the Oxfordshire-based racing firm that was best known for running Jaguar’s factory racing operations throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, which saw the XJS take the title in the 1984 European Touring Car Championship – the top saloon car racing championship at the time. 

On top of its motorsport endeavours, the original TWR team was involved in the development and production of many specialist cars such as the Renault Clio V6, Volvo C70 and Aston Martin DB7, along with a slew of Jaguar products.

TWR Performance is also not affiliated with Australian motorsport powerhouse Walkinshaw Group, run by Tom’s eldest son Ryan and spawned from HSV, itself founded as a joint venture between Holden and TWR. As well as seeing success on track in the Supercars series, that firm develops and builds road cars for OEMs, including Chevrolet.

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yvesferrer 4 May 2024

The Dukes of Hazard would be pround of such a monstrosity!

Note to the EDITORS:

The Security 'captcha' devives are nor an abolute pain the arse! Time for something different!

jason_recliner 1 May 2024
Here's the thing. The XJS isn't a great car, nor is it a car that most people look back at now and revere. They aren't desirable to most and they aren't so rare that the few people who do want them can't just go out and buy one. And then to make a carbon-fibre manual version - it's not a sports car, it's not a driver's car, and nobody ever reviewed one and said "what this needs is a manual gearbox and shave a few hundred kilos off".

The XJS is not even a good looking car (to most eyes). And then these people have gone and made a C-F version that looks like a street machine with a body kit some bogan built from fiberglass in his shed circa 1974. This is the dumbest idea to come out of the car industry in years.

Squirrel76 1 May 2024

I cannot wait for Frank Stephenson's take on this monstrosity.