Jaguar XJ220 Vs Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Jaguar has a long history in motorsports, so when the time came to develop a road car to commemorate this in the 1980s, it had to be something unique. There was no strategy. The Jaguar XJ220 started as a typical after-hours project by engineers and designers who saw a gap between current road car options and what was being raced. Jaguar and Jaguar enthusiasts had craved the time when they could drive the Jaguar C-Type to the track, win the race, and then drive home, and soon it could become a reality for them, with the Jaguar XJ220!


However, initially designed as a race car, the Mercedes CLK GTR provided a unique and extraordinary performance both on the track and off the track. You’ve got to bear in mind that this car was originally designed as a racer, so it certainly packed a punch! After having to meet FIA homologation, the CLK GTR had to fit the road-legal standards ultimately creating a race car for the road, an impressive race car for the road to say the least! The XJ220 prototype motor had to offer useful data for future road and racing cars to justify the resources to go ahead with the project.

The idea expanded into an all-wheel-drive V12 supercar as the modifications expanded with racing at the forefront of thinking. The car’s designer, Jim Randle, enlisted the help of suppliers to construct a prototype. Because the car lacked governmental support, the initial example had to be manufactured on a tight budget. Barely one week before its presentation, the design was approved for public viewing. We put these two hooliganistic supercars into a fistfight and see if either can edge over the other.


People Were Craving For The Jaguar XJ220

The XJ220 concept was completed on the morning of October 18, 1988, the day before it was to be unveiled at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham, and would be officially released and available for purchase in 1992. The Jaguar XJ220 was the major attraction at the Birmingham motor show when it was first presented to the public.

Ferrari showed up with a bright red F40, but it was looked at in disappointment in comparison to the glimmering and fresh Jag. Although Jaguar had no intention of selling the XJ220, attitudes shifted after a handful of enthusiasts offered blank checks. After so much positive feedback and intensifying hype surrounding the XJ220, Jaguar opted to create a limited run to meet the unanticipated demand, it would run from 1992 up until 1994.


Related: A Chance To Own Racing History With This 1988 Jaguar XJR-9

Jaguar XJ220 Made People Curious

In 1989, the XJ220 was officially priced at $580,000, with a $80,000 deposit required to obtain one of the cars. Despite the hefty asking price, Jaguar had over 1,000 serious inquiries about purchasing the vehicle. These serious inquiries were probably made after finding out that the Jaguar XJ220 could reach speeds of up to 217 mph.

This Jag could do 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds while the packed 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine unleashed a whopping 542 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. This incredible engine was put into play alongside a 5-speed manual transmission and a rear-wheel-drive system.


Related: The Jaguar XJ220 Deserves So Much More Attention

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Was Truly Spectacular

The Mercedes CLK GTR featured a naturally aspirated 6.9-liter V12 engine with 604 hp, a top speed of 214 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of an impressive 3.8 seconds, which is still a strenuous time to attain today. It could generate 572 ft-lbs of torque, whilst it had a 6-speed paddle-shifting transmission.

Slightly different suspensions were used on the road and racetrack versions. To make the road-going version more tuned for the public roads the suspension was slightly raised, with softer springs and dampers, despite this both the racetrack and road-going versions still had a wishbone suspension.


The CLK GTR won the FIA GT championship during the 1997 and 1998 seasons, and it’s no eye-opener given its unbelievable speed and power. Considering Mercedes’ absence from the racing scene since the Group C days, the CLK GTR left a lasting impression. It competed in 22 races and won 17, as well as two teams and two driver’s championships, a remarkable achievement.

Related: These Were The Best Features Of The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR’s Focused Interior Lacked Vibrancy

Despite the CLK GTR’s exterior beauty, the interior was dull, dark, and unimpressive. Although the leather bucket seats and carbon fiber finish looked elegant, the interior was overall boring, tedious, and tiresome. It was simple, which can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, there were only three gauges in the central console, and a simple steering wheel, giving it a 1980s aging feel.

Jaguar XJ220 Vs Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR: Beautiful Outlaws

Well, it’s safe to say that both the Mercedes CLK GTR and the Jaguar XJ220 were highly impressive cars, with beautifully distinct yet aggressive bodies, incredible powertrains, excessive speed, and overall fantastic cars. It’s even debatable whether these two cars broke the boundaries of engineering with how impressive they were. Which one wins? It’s impossible to separate these monsters, they are both winners in their ways.

Sources: Mercedes-benz.com, Media.jaguar.com