Sure, Ferrari was out in full-force at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, in part to celebrate its 70th birthday, but Jaguar was having none of it. The British automaker rolled out some of its finest that weekend, dusting off some unbelievably cool endurance racers for our visual and aural pleasure. Here are seven of our favorite big cats that charged up the hill during the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
1983 Jaguar XJR-5
We hope you like the XJR series of race cars, because we couldn’t get enough of them. This is the first of the XJRs, built in 1983 by Bob Tullius with permission and help from Jaguar. The car was aimed squarely at IMSA, claiming a number of GTP victories in the U.S. before being the first Jaguar to compete at Le Mans in 22 years, when it placed 13th in 1985.
Underneath the slick bodywork screamed a 6.0-liter V-12 engine, producing around 650 hp. This green-over-white car set the basis for the future of the successful XJR platform, culminating in a handful of championship victories in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
1985 Jaguar XJR-6
Buoyed by the success of the XJR-5, Tom Walkinshaw Racing was commissioned to create a Group C car for endurance racing. The XJR-6 was the result, packing a 6.5-liter variant of the 6.0-liter V-12 found in the previous XJR-5.
Despite taking home the laurels in the Silverstone 1000 km, all XJR-6 entrants failed to finish the full 24 Hours of Le Mans during 1985.
1991 Jaguar XJR-16
Wrapping up the block of attending XJRs was this fabulously decaled XJR-16. After previous XJR iterations ditched the naturally-aspirated V-12 powerplants of the first cars, the 16 was motivated by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.
Sound familiar? It should — this is a derivation of the same dynamo in the XJ220, itself based on the six-cylinder in the MG Metro 6R4 rally car.
1993 Jaguar XJ220-C
Bringing up the rear of the modern endurance racers is the sweet, sweet shape of the XJ220. This competition-spec coupe was the final gasp of the failed supercar, a last-ditch racing effort that saw the XJ220 claim victory in its class at Le Mans in 1993. The win was revoked at the last minute, with the ACO disqualifying the Jag for not using a catalytic converter.
1953 Jaguar C-Type
This is one of the masterpieces from Jaguar’s golden era of racing. The C-Type is based heavily on the XK120 road car, including a 3.4-liter variant of the 120’s inline-six engine, now producing over 220 hp.
The lightweight construction and nimble chassis proved competitive, allowing the C-Type to take the overall victory at Le Mans in 1951 and 1953.
1956 Jaguar D-Type
As you might have guessed, this is the direct successor to the C-Type. This voluptuous roadster was largely the work of Malcom Sayer, who brough aeronautical know-how to Jaguar. As a result, the car was built with aerodynamics and lightweight construction in mind.
Power came from a competition-spec 3.8-liter inline-six, offering over 250 hp in some specs. Thanks to a lithe profile, the D-Type could reach speeds upwards of 172 mph, and went on to claim three consecutive victories at Le Mans, from 1955 through 1957.
2018 Jaguar XE SV Project 8
Here’s a first — the most powerful and circuit-ready production Jaguar in existence is a bright orange sedan. We had just gotten a quick peek of the new SV Project 8 a short time before Goodwood, so seeing the new big, bad Jag in motion was a treat.
The changes aren’t just limited to power, however there’s quite a bit of that for those interested. The smallest sedan in Jag’s lineup receives the most powerful iteration of the 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 we’ve seen thus far, now spitting out an incredible 591 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
This monstrous oomph is sent to all-four-wheels through a industrial-strength ZF eight-speed automatic. To keep everything on the straight and narrow, the rear tires are 305/30 sectionals, while the fronts are 265/35s.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the biggest change is the impressive aero kit scattered around the exterior. The large rear wing, when combined with the front splitter and redesigned fascia, produces an impressive 269 pounds of downforce at 186 mph.
Just 300 of these orange beasts will be made, each carrying a $192,000 price tag.
Surprise! Another XJR. We’re finishing out our Jag Goodwood coverage with what is perhaps the coolest car to ever wear the big cat badge.
Conceived as a roadworthy interpretation of the XJR-9, Jaguar worked with TWR to create its first true supercar. To this effect, the XJR-15 borrowed heavily from the race cars, featuring a full carbon fiber and kevlar body in place of contemporary fiberglass and aluminum construction.
A 6.0-liter naturally aspirated V-12 engine pulled from the Group C car sent 450 hp to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Performance was impressive – 0-60 arrived in just 3.9 seconds, charging to a top speed limited to 191 mph.