Among the plethora of cool 1990s supercars, Porsche 993 GT2 and the Jaguar XJ220 are both notable supercars with unique stories of birth and supremacy. While not direct counterparts to each other, these two racecars for the roads are similar in rarity, cult following, value, limited production run, and speed. However, the circumstances that gave rise to each of these iconic machines are very different, and it has been years since production on both has ended.
That said, they had power and speed that was at one point exceptional or even unparalleled, and several features were distinct enough to stand out at the time. And that is the reason why these rarities are held in high esteem even today. We pitch these two race-ready machines in fame, performance, and aura to see which has an upper hand.
Porsche 993 GT2 Vs Jaguar XJ220: Production History
When these cars were made, they each had a story to tell. Porsche’s 993 GT2 was born out of another niche. As the company was experiencing economical turmoil at the time, it was rather unexpected that Porsche decided to proceed with a homologation special, as noted by the 992 GT2’s design. After all, the plastic fenders being bolted to the car mixed with cut-out arches were design giveaways.
Further, physiological alterations were also performed, such as removing all-wheel-drive and rear seats and adding magnesium wheels. Otherwise, the 993 GT2 may have been more aligned with the 993 Turbo. Nonetheless, it caught people’s attention, and although the vehicle ended up being a rather obscure model with a limited run, the car made a name for itself in both racing and on the roads.
Upon the rise of the Jaguar XJ220 in 1992, developed from a 1988 concept, there were numerous complications from multiple sources. Before production even began, unforeseen technical and financial obstacles hindered the development of the project. This ensured that the specs that resulted were not the ones that began. The Jaguar XJ220 was initially intended to have a 6.2L V12 engine; that did not go as planned, as a twin-turbo V6 engine was soon offered in its place.
This vehicle was born as a collaboration between Jaguar and automotive specialist Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and it was designed as a call back to cars Jaguar raced at Le Mans in the 1950s and 1960s, only with more modern function and styling. To date, the XJ220 remains the only supercar Jaguar has produced, and with an incredibly limited production run, the Jag is hard to find, resulting in quite the cult following. These days, prices range from $276,290 to $1.2 million, so the range is rather wide. On average, these iconic Jags go for $514,894.
Porsche 993 GT2 Vs Jaguar XJ220: Endangered Species
Each of these supercars was incredibly limited in its production. Porsche then created the 993 GT2 and built a minimum amount of models to comply. However, as the 993 GT2 was mainly intended for racing, Porsche took the design of the 993 Turbo as a base and stripped it down to make it practical for racing.
Further, in its production years, few units were constructed. For example, only 21 units were manufactured in 1998, and in its production years of 1995-1997, only 172 models total were built. Therefore, only 193 models were made.
In the Jaguar XJ220’s case, when it leaped only concept in 1988 to production in 1992, only 281 were ever built, partially because of unforeseen complications, and partially because production only lasted three years. Also, of note is that a racing variant, the XJ220C, was also produced. Porsche, on the other hand, was only following rules. The car was made to be eligible for competition and also had to be street-legal to drive.
Porsche 993 GT2 Vs Jaguar XJ220: Fast Times Too Brief
Porsche’s 993 GT2 was no slouch with speed. Its magnesium wheels and thinner glass, combined with a lack of interior features, helped make it incredibly lightweight. Larger diameter tires were also put in place specifically to increase the car’s top speed. As a result, the vehicle could hit 62 MPH in only 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 184 MPH.
These cars were noted for their speed at one point, but that point didn’t last long. The Jaguar having the XJ220 name is even a reference to its highest intended speed, though that was a bit of an exaggeration, with the XJ220 reaching 217 MPH. The 3.5-L twin-turbo V6 engine certainly helped achieve that speed. For all too brief a time, 217 MPH was the record for the highest speed for a production car.
Porsche 993 GT2 Vs Jaguar XJ220: Even The Mightiest Had Hiccups
The way the developments occurred and were received ultimately ended up being the biggest deviation from the manufacturers’ intended plan. Porsche only made the 993 GT2 to comply with racing rules by making a street-legal car, so its rarity was intentional.
However, Porsche also decided to offer an optional Clubsport package for this rare model, giving it all sorts of extra options, such as a battery kill switch, a roll cage, a dual-mass flywheel, and even a fire extinguisher, which aren’t a bad set of options for a car only designed to meet bare minimum requirements.
As mentioned before with Jaguar’s XJ220, complications arose that were not intended. The 1992 production version was supposed to be incredibly similar to the 1988 concept version. In those four years, racing technology advanced, and preferences shifted, causing all-wheel-drive to switch to rear-wheel-drive and the naturally-aspirated V12 engine to be swapped for a turbocharged V6 engine.
Further, Ford Motor Company acquired Jaguar in 1989 when the company had far less capital than expected. These new developments were not received well, as customers saw this as “not what was promised,” leading to a slew of order cancellations.
Sources: Porsche, Jaguar