Mean Machines Sega

Jaguar XJ220

Publisher: Core
Machine: Mega CD (EU Version)

Published in Mean Machines Sega #7

Jaguar XJ220

The Jaguar XJ220 was unveiled at the British Motor Show in October 1988. Much jaw-dropping was in evidence at the super sleek, super-powered road car which became the fastest set of wheels on Earth for some years. Of course, this baby was out of the pocket money range of your average car enthusiast, but it didn't stop people drooling and dreaming...

Now someone at that Motor Show must have been fortunate enough to work for Core Design, that zany programming team from Derby. Their fertile mind must have visualised that silver bullet racing along the great tracks of the world, taking on the best performance machines of the decade. And then they probably thought of the Megadrive and shrugged the whole thing off.

But now Sega owners have their own turbo-charged piece, at a snip less than the XJ220, and the new power of the Mega-CD has made that dream of Core a reality. Now it's sprite-scaling realism ahoy with the Jaguar simulator. Your 'motor' is lavishly appointed with cream leather upholstery and Technics CD. So 'apply' some torque and let's go.


Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar XJ220 resembles split-screen racing games of 'yore' like Super Monaco GP.

How To Play

Select a Grand Prix tournament, or World Tour option and race for a place on the qualifying grid. Then beat the opposition into second place with your racing antics.

Split Personalities

Jaguar offers one or two-player action. Two players are accommodated with a split-screen display. Two-player Grand Prix races take place with eighteen other racers, so the Jaguars are fighting the field as well as each other. The display is noticeably slower with the split-screen mode, as you'd expect.

World Clique

Jaguar XJ220

There are sixteen tracks from around the world available on the Jaguar menu. When any is selected, for a single race, or part of a tour, a plan of the course is rotated, along with its spec: length, track condition and records. Different countries exhibit typical characteristics: Monaco is hilly, England is always raining!

Live And Learn

Five facts you probably didn't know about the Jaguar XJ220:

  1. The cost of one brand new is £401,402.
  2. It goes from 0-60mph in 3.8secs.
  3. Only 350 of them are being made.
  4. A replacement back tyre sets you back £850.
  5. The engine delivers a massive 542bhp at 7,000 revs. Gumph!


The benefits of racing on a CD-ROM are made apparent when you pick your music. Jaguar has a mock CD set-up, with five different chillin' n' funky tracks to get into. You sample the tracks before each race, picking your background music.

Tracker Nut

Jaguar XJ220

One of the grooviest features of the game is a track editor, which gives you complete freedom to create Grand Prix tracks of your own. Arranging your tarmac nightmare is done from two simple icon menus, controlling track length, gradient, curve and then presenting a list of objects to have along the course-sides. Efforts may be saved to the Mega-CD.

The Body Shop

At the end of each on-track encounter, it's time for the painful part of the game - seeing just how wasted your precious baby is, after hitting all these chevrons and innocent bystanders. In the bodyshop you replace bodyparts, tyres, shocks, engine, and brakes. Parts that are still functional show up as green, but damaged functions are an angry red. You haven't got infinite resources to repair it all either - in fact, you have to spend your winnings on repairing the car!


Playing very similarly to Lotus Turbo Challenge, but featuring twice as many tracks and better graphics and sound, this is a truly excellent one- or two-player racing game. The challenging, high-speed action is great fun in one-player mode, but, like most games of this sort, it's even better in two-player mode.

Jaguar XJ220

A nice touch is that the further behind your opponent you get, the faster your car goes, which means the racing is always highly exciting and ultra-competitive. If you've already got Lotus, there's not much reason to buy this. Yes, Jaguar XJ220 is better presented and offers a lot more, but it isn't £40.00 greater. If you haven't, though, and you're a racing fiend, this is definitely worth checking out.


A really neat, no-nonsense driving game to give Mega-CD owners a clear edge over their Megadrive-owning inferiors. There is nothing like Jaguar XJ220 on any Sega system, its impressive sprite-scaling giving a much better impression of speed than Super Monaco GP ever did.

The graphics are the most impressive part of the package. In single player mode, hundreds of roadside objects whizz past, smoothly scaling. The track itself is hilly and interesting to drive, but moves fluidly and realistically. If there's any graphical flaw, it's in the presentation of the cars themselves, which are a bit bland.

Jaguar XJ220

This is a shame when the Jaguar is such a stunning car to see in its proper 'flesh'. However, any small niggle points are far outweighed by the lavish presentation, the copious amount of courses and, not forgetting, the track editor that lengthens the game's interest considerably. Oh yes, and the vital split-screen mode, that turn a good racing sim into a real contest. A priority purchase for driving fans.


Presentation 95%
P. Almost faultless presentation, with the beginning sequence, lots of stills, stats screen, awards, saved games, etc.
N. Mildly irritating disc access.

Graphics 89%
P. Ultra-fast sprite scaled action, and convincing fluid track movement. Marginally slower for two players.
N. Graphics are a bit blocky, and some tracks lack a distinct character.

Jaguar XJ220

Sound 85%
P. Five CD quality soundtracks in the sort of funk house mode.
N. Minimal effects, and no big explosion effects for the morbid (just clanks).

Playability 91%
P. Grippingly addictive race action, especially in a two player head to head. Good racing feel.
N. Not a rough racing game, which might annoy crash merchants and Cosworth drivers.

Lastability 88%
P. Lots of tracks, and a highly pitched difficulty level. The editor is the best new feature of all.
N. Many of the tracks may play too similarly for some fans to stick to it.

Overall 90%
A roaring racing debut for Jaguar on Mega-CD that is truly excellent, if not a complete classic in its field.