Here for Thursday on the Thames are a couple of releases of the Jaguar XJ220.

Matchbox’s casting of the XJ220 has been featured a couple of times here on LaLD already, in addition to countless XJ220s by other companies and in other scales.

The mainline version is the 1993 debut version, while the Premiere is the 1997 ROW Series 2 release. The examples here are a pretty close comparison between the premium and regular versions of Matchbox’s XJ220.

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The story of the XJ220 also has been told many times, so I won’t go into much depth here.

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The XJ220 was a collaboration by Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) made from 1992 to 1994. From 1994-1999, it was the world’s fastest production car, with a top speed of nearly 220mph (350km/h), hence the name. A concept version powered by a V12, with 4WD, adjustable suspension, and rear wheel steering was unveiled in 1988 to very positive reactions.

By the time it reached production in 1992, however, a worldwide recession had taken hold, and a combination of that and the new drivetrain of a twin-turbo V6 powering the rear wheels resulted in much fewer sales than expected.

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The Premiere has paint-detailed windshield wipers, rear lights, side markers, turn signals, and side air intakes. The interior is detailed in grey with black seat inserts and floors. Amazingly, even the steering wheel spokes are painted black with a grey rim, and the shifter knob has a touch of red. The mainline release has the same interior but only molded in off-white.

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It is commonly noted that the Premiere XJ220, like other Premiere supercars, sits too high, a casualty of the meaty rubber tires and wheels and the need to preserve suspension functionality. The mainline sits more correctly, and while the 8-dot wheels aren’t everyone’s favourite, I tend to like them.

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The other problem I have with the casting is that the engine bay detailing looks nothing like how the real one should, and is only further accentuated by the Premiere’s colour detailing.

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The regular XJ220 was purchased loose from eBay UK while I found the Premiere at a diecast swap meet.

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Thanks for viewing!

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