New Special Editon Jaguar To Celebrate Le Mans Victory

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The British automaker is working on something very special to celebrate its Le Mans triumph.

British automaker Jaguar was founded in September 1922, making this its centenary year. With global conflicts, economic meltdowns, and pandemics a mainstay of the last century, that's quite impressive. Unfortunately, we haven't yet heard of anything special being planned to celebrate this milestone, although the luxury manufacturer did recently reveal a concept that will only ever be driven in the virtual world of gaming. We can only imagine that Jaguar will start teasing something exciting closer to September - after all, this is a brand that has been around longer than Ferrari, dammit - but we have a feeling that there will be other causes for celebration among fans of the brand that brought us the achingly gorgeous E-Type.

CarBuzz has exclusively discovered trademarks filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office for the phrase "Edition 1988," and if you know your Jag history, there are a couple of reasons that this is very exciting news.

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EUIPO
UKIPO
Jaguar

In 1985, Jaguar returned to topflight sports car racing after being absent for almost 30 years. Four years of experimentation and evolution saw the XJR-9 finally take victory at Le Mans in 1988, snatching the title from Porsche. The British automaker arrived that year with five cars, but apart from another Jag in fourth, Porsche filled the rest of the top ten while two Jags failed to finish and the third came home in 16th position. Interestingly, a Porsche 962C almost won, and, were it not for the driver making the rare error of running out of fuel, the Jaguar chassis that had failed to even finish at its last four Le Mans outings would not have claimed a triumph in '88. As fortuitous as racing sometimes is, the fact is that Jaguar had a great package that could have won in earlier campaigns, so when the team finally achieved victory with drivers Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries, and Andy Wallace, it was validation of the British company's abilities.

That's why our first guess is that a Jaguar F-Type Edition 1988 referencing Le Mans is what the brand is planning.

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Jaguar
Jaguar
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However, 1988 was significant for Jaguar in another way. That was the year that the XJ220 concept was premiered. As you may know, the car had a relatively short life, being produced from 1992 to 1994 before an economic recession killed it prematurely. Nevertheless, those short years were enough to create an icon, and the Jaguar XJ220 was the world's fastest car at the time with a top speed of 212.3 mph. The record didn't stand for very long thanks to the arrival of the inimitable McLaren F1, but Jaguar has often toyed with the idea of creating a true supercar once again, a halo showcase of technology that can prove to the world that Jaguar is still a force to be reckoned with.

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BBC
2021-2022 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe Front Angle View CarBuzz

Next year will mark 35 years since the celebrations at Le Mans and the genesis of the XJ220, and either event would make an excellent candidate for a special celebration, but which will win? Will there be an F-Type dolled up with badges and unique paint, or will all Jags simply get a new, special-edition trim level? Will a facelifted Jaguar F-Type SVR be unveiled with the special trim, as we've yet to see an SVR variant of the refreshed sports car? It would be a fitting swansong to the F-Type, which has been with us since 2013.

Of course, we're all hoping that Jaguar releases an exciting new hypercar concept, but while we're hoping for the latter, we're betting it'll be one of the former options instead.

2017-2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe Front View Driving Jaguar
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2017-2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe Side View Driving Jaguar

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