1989 Ford Transit Van with 640 hp Jaguar XJ220 Engine Swap

Being that we are the Car Build Index, it is our mission to bring our readers the most outrageous engine swaps, restorations and projects that we can possibly find. There are a lot of lackluster, uninspiring hack jobs out there, but every now and then we find something that we get excited about which fits the bill perfectly. That being said, it is only appropriate that we now present to you the following 1989 Ford Transit  Supervan. Normally, a plain white van would not be exactly earth shattering to the average car enthusiast, but we are certain that we could change that bleak outlook when we happily report to you that this one was originally a Jaguar factory test mule that is now fitted with a 640 horsepower XJ220 supercar engine…


In much the same fashion as our previous features which included such wild projects as a Renault C2V van with a Ferrari 355 engine, a ’62 VW Bus powered by a Porsche 993 Twin Turbo engine and also a Honda Odyssey racing van with the 532 horsepower V6 turbo (find their links at the bottom of the page), this Ford van gives a whole new meaning to the words “sleeper van”. 1
This particular example was originally owned by the Benetton F1 team before it landed with Tom Walkinshaw of TWR Engines, the man behind the Jaguar XJ220 project. When developing that exotic car back in the early 1990’s, TWR used the van to test their 542 horsepower V6 twin turbo engine and running gear.4Then once the Jaguarsport project was completed, the van sat outside of the shop unused until the owner of a XJ220 specialist tuner shop purchased it and took it to the next level. He modified the mostly stock suspension with Penske and Ohlins dampers, Avon slicks mounted on XJ220 centerlock wheels and tweaked the engine to bring it up to approximately 640 horsepower.2 1 1 2 2The van has since been seen making some pretty entertaining demonstration laps on race tracks around the UK, including a run at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We have been searching for some good video footage of that to include here but have not run across anything too spectacular yet, so we will skip it for now until we can find something in the future that does it justice. Some in-van footage, like that found in our VW Bus “Ring Taxi” feature mentioned earlier would be perfect. Until then…1 2

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