Jaguar XJR-15: Most Underrated Supercar of the ’90s
Raw, rare & perennially underappreciated, Jaguar’s race car for the streets is still amazing even by today’s standards.
The 1990s were a truly transformational time for supercars. Groundbreaking design and face-melting performance came about as environmental restrictions faded away. The results were some of the purest, rawest, and most beautiful four-wheeled things ever conceived by man. Cars like the Lamborghini Diablo, Jaguar XJ220, and McLaren F1 redefined the segment with mind-blowing performance and styling. But one ’90s supercar that doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves is the Jaguar XJR-15.
Not just one of the finest cars built in that magical decade, the Jaguar XJR-15 is one of the coolest machines ever built. With the help of the legendary Tom Walkinshaw, a mere 53 examples (27 roadgoing) were produced with an eye toward bringing the XJR’s LeMans-winning experience to the streets. With a screaming 6.0-liter V12 and gorgeous yet supremely aerodynamic bodywork, the XJR-15 was truly a race car for the road.
As much as we covet the XJR-15, we were no doubt giddy when we found out that Petrolicious was going to document one in one of their incredible films. And we certainly weren’t disappointed. The story of Jasbir Dhillon‘s personal car is as fascinating as the car itself. Born and raised in England, Dhillon always had a soft spot for the special Jag. He even enjoys the difficult experience of getting in the low-slung car. He describes it as a “little bit of a contortionist act…it gives you that anticipation that this effort is going to be worth it.”
‘I’ve driven in it with my son a few times and if we don’t have the headphones on, I can’t hear my own voice and I certainly can’t hear his voice. It’s that loud in there.’
And it most certainly is. After flipping a few switches, the raucous powerplant comes to life. Unlike modern supercars, the XJR-15 makes no attempt to hide the noise, vibrations, and rawness of its powerplant. Heck, it even came with headphones and an intercom system just so you could carry on a conversation with your passenger. “I’ve driven in it with my son a few times and if we don’t have the headphones on, I can’t hear my own voice and I certainly can’t hear his voice. It’s that loud in there,” Dhillon admits.