In order to shake off the perception of a manufacturer of cars for old people, from the XF and forth, Jaguar has focused into the future with every new model it produces, but that does not mean it has completely set its past aside; it just does it in a very different way than before.
The new Project 7 that was unveiled today ahead of a world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, is a perfect example of how Jaguar blends the past with the future nowadays.
Created by a team led by Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum, the Project 7 is a one-off design study based on the F-Type roadster with inspiration coming from the acclaimed D-type racer produced from 1954 to 1957 that won the Le Mans 24-hour race three times in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Even the car’s name acknowledges Jaguar’s winning of Le Mans seven times between 1951 and 1990.
“Project 7 is a single-seater sports car based on the F-TYPE, with the kind of racing-inspired form that designers dream about,” said Callum. “It has one purpose: to be driven fast and enjoyed. Jaguar sports cars are known for exceptional performance and clean design. Project 7 captures that spirit in its purest form.”
The transformation of the F-Type from convertible to a speedster-style racer involved the complete removal of the fabric roof system, a cut-down windscreen, race-inspired livery and a D-type-inspired rear fairing section that incorporates a rollover hoop and swoops down from behind the driver’s head.
Jaguar says aerodynamic modifications include a carbon-fibre front splitter, side skirts, a bigger rear diffuser and a fixed rear spoiler with a 14-degree angle of attack, while the car also gains 20-inch Blade forged-alloy wheels with carbon-fibre inserts, carbon fiber side louvres, bonnet vents and side mirrors and bigger air vents up front.
The interior received a makeover with quilted racing-style diamond pattern leather trim for the driver’s bucket seat that’s lowered by 30mm and door panels, carbon-fibre inserts on the console and SportShift lever, the removal of the passenger seat that has been replaced with a unique helmet holder, and the use of machined aluminium paddles behind the sports steering wheel for the 8sp automatic transmission.
While based on the F-Type S with the 5.0-liter supercharged V8, Jaguar engineers squeezed another 54hp (55PS) and 55Nm (41 lb-ft) out of the engine pushing output to 542hp and 680Nm (501 lb-ft), allowing the Project 7 to reach 60mph (96km/h) in 4.1 seconds (regular F-Type V8 S: 4.2 seconds) and achieve a top speed of 186mph (299km/h).
For now, the Project 7 remains a one off study, but it will see some action as it will be driven by Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar, at this weekend’s Goodwood hill-climb.
A big hat tip to Bruno R. for the tip!