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LA Show: Jaguar’s all-paw F-Type

AWD option for F-Type announced as Jaguar joins Bloodhound SSC land speed record bid


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7 Nov 2014

JAGUAR will launch an all-wheel-drive option for its F-Type sportscar range at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19, as part of a model update promising performance enhancements and an line-up expansion from six variants to 14.

The all-paw F-Type was unveiled as part of Jaguar’s announcement of its involvement in the Bloodhound SSC land speed record project, for which the target is to exceed 1000mph (1609km/h) and smash the current record of 763.035mph (1228km/h).

Jaguar claims a 0-60mph (97km/h) time of 3.9 seconds for the AWD F-Type R coupe, a tenth quicker than the equivalent rear-drive version that is powered by a 404kW/680Nm 5.0-litre supercharged V8 and costs $219,130 plus on-road costs in Australia.

Whether Australia will see AWD F-Types remains unconfirmed but AWD versions of the XF sedan and XJ limousine are currently restricted to certain left-hand drive markets.

Both AWD and RWD V8 F-Types share an electronically limited top speed of 300km/h and Jaguar vehicle line director Ian Hoban said the company’s engineering target for the AWD version was to “maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability”.

“The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions.”

The AWD F-Type’s role in the Bloodhound SSC project so far has been to provide a vehicle with the stability and dynamic capability to cope with the relatively soft surface of the Hakskeen Pan desert in the Northern Cape of South Africa, where the new record attempts will take place, with Andy Green again in the driving seat.

Driven flat-out by Bloodhound SSC project director and former land speed record holder Richard Noble, the AWD F-Type has already participated in the successfully completing a vital test of the communications system that will link the ground crew and Andy Green in the Bloodhound SSC.

The test involved fitting the same radio equipment that will be used in the Bloodhound SSC to a jet aircraft and an AWD F-Type, then flying the jet at 805km/h and at a height of just 15 metres toward the flat-out F-Type, achieving a closing speed of nearly 1130km/h.

“We are absolutely delighted to announce Jaguar as a main partner to the Bloodhound project,” said Mr Noble.

“This is a very fine match – Jaguar is very strong on innovation and with its huge drive in advanced technology, education and motorsport track record, we have the perfect partner. Together we have developed outstanding inter-team synergy and this is a very special relationship. We are proud to carry the Jaguar branding on Bloodhound SSC.”

In 12 months, the first land speed record attempt will be made by the Bloodhound team, with the full 1609km/h run scheduled for 2016.

The Bloodhound team will join Jaguar at the LA show, where Andy Green will confirm the full extent of Jaguar’s technical collaboration with the record attempt.

GoAuto understands a 404kW Jaguar V8 – same output as the F-Type R – will be used as a fuel pump for the Bloodhound SSC, which is powered by jet and hybrid-rocket engines.

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