TWR is back – and the first project for the former British racing team is a restomod Jaguar XJS, created with help from designers Magnus Walker and Khyzyl Saleem.
Originally founded in 1976 by the late Tom Walkinshaw, TWR became a global motorsport powerhouse. However, it entered administration in 2002, following a costly investment in the Arrows Formula One team.
Now with Tom Walkinshaw’s son Fergus at the helm, TWR has reinvented itself as a ‘constructor of bespoke automobiles’. The company promises to ‘protect and perfect the analogue driving experience’, and plans to work with various car manufacturers.
Racing and road cars
The original, Oxfordshire-based Tom Walkinshaw Racing was closely associated with Jaguar, preparing an XJS to race in the European Touring Car Championship. TWR and Jaguar later collaborated on the XJR series of sports car prototype racers. These included the XJR-9LM, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright in 1988.
The company worked with Volvo to create the infamous 850 Estate that competed in the British Touring Car Championship. Engineering teams at TWR were also responsible for the development of numerous road cars, including the Jaguar XJ220 and Aston Martin DB7.
With its special place in TWR history, the XJS was chosen as the company’s first project to be ‘brought into the 21st century’.
Rehabilitating a classic
TWR has enlisted the help of Magnus Walker, the Sheffield-born fashion designer and renowned car collector, as a design consultant. Walker said: “The XJS is a car that’s sort of misunderstood. I wanted to make my mark on it”.
Digital designer Khyzyl Saleem will work alongside Walker at TWR. Saleem has become famous for his radical car styling creations, both real and virtual. His Instagram channel boasts more than one million followers.
“It’s the first project I’ve been involved in where I’m not just designing a bodykit, but creating a fully functioning, performance-driven car,” said Saleem. “It’s going from what I’m known for, the digital space, and adding real credibility to my work.”
More details about the new TWR Jaguar XJS will be revealed in early 2024. We’ll be intrigued to see it.
John Redfern writes for Motoring Research