Having announced the car in November 1990, shortly after Jaguar's Le Mans win, it was during 1991 that legendary Le Mans-winning TWR team owner Tom Walkinshaw commenced manufacture of the strictly limited edition batch of 50 of staggeringly fast and beautiful carbon-chassis XJR-15 Supercars, originally codenamed 'R-9R'. Although very much derived from the XJR-9 and XJR-12 Le Mans winners and neatly filling the hole left by the removal of the V12 engine from the XJ220 concept, the XJR-15 was completely re-engineered for road use and featured bodywork penned by the great Peter Stevens, who's portfolio also includes the McLaren F1. The XJR-15's combination was unlike anything seen at the time - full carbon-fibre chassis, carbon body, near Group C-spec 6-litre V12 - truly the closest thing to a Le Mans prototype created during that generation of Supercar. You could argue it was the first time since the likes of the Jaguar XKSS and Ford GT40 that such an outrageous 'road car' with racing lineage was created.
Chassis number ‘047’ was one of 16 racing-specification XJR-15s built for the 1991 Intercontinental Challenge, a three-race series supporting Formula 1 Grands Prix, each of which commanded a huge purse of $1 million. 047 was driven in the series by Le Mans-podium finisher and ex-F1 driver Tiff Needell in all three rounds - Monaco, Silverstone, and Spa-Francorchamps. What is great about 047 is that it has remained a race car from new until today, never being modified for the road, and never being stripped of its pure-racing features. There are only 8 examples that have remined in this form from new, and its history is well-known and unquestioned.
In a world where rarity means so much, having one of the original race-spec XJR-15s fully road registered is surely the ultimate Jaguar of its generation. A true celebration of Jaguar and TWR's magnificent two V12 Le Mans wins in 1988 and 1990, the XJR-15 offers so much - incredible rarity, mind-blowing performance, an unforgettable engine note, and the opportunity to drive a race car on the road.
Fearsome, maybe, but so is a McLaren F1 at speed... in a world of computerized cars built to perfection, and assisted by endless gadgetry, the XJR-15 is an experience so intoxicating that time and the world simply pass by... and that's probably a good thing!
The car has lived in one of Europe's finest race car collections in recent years and has been maintained regardless of cost.
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