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Jaguar to build F-Type Project 7

Fast cat: The Jaguar F-Type Project 7 nails 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed limited to 300km/h.

Jaguar has confirmed it will build the F-Type Project 7 with debut at Goodwood

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Jaguar logo26 Jun 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

JAGUAR revealed it as a concept car last year and has now confirmed it will build the F-Type Project 7, making it the company’s most powerful production car ahead its a global debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The F-Type Project 7 will be a limited to just 250 examples and will be the first Jaguar branded vehicle to be made by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations Team, which has been set up to produce high-performance and bespoke vehicles.

The British brand unveiled its Project 7 concept at last year's Goodwood as a tribute to the car-maker’s famous D-Type racecar of the 1950s, with the name referring to the seven victories Jaguar has achieved at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

Now in celebration of the D-Type’s 60th anniversary this year, Jaguar has announced the car will be built and sold as street-legal two-seater roadster called the F-Type Project 7.

The F-Type concept began as a design study to create a car that paid homage to the D-Type by blending elements of the 1950s racecar with those of the F-Type.

What started out as an experimental sketch by Jaguar designer Cesar Pieri became a track-ready racecar within four months after the company's director of design, Ian Callum saw the drawing and became motivated to make the Project 7 a reality.

“When I saw this sketch of a low-screen, single-seat F-TYPE, I felt enthused by it and wanted to take it further,” Mr Callum said. “As designers, our very purpose is to disrupt – to turn the norm on its head and see if it still works – and here at Jaguar, we love to push the boundaries.

“As a team our challenge was to take this gem of an idea, work within the limitations of production feasibility, and create something worthwhile. So I encouraged Cesar and Alister Whelan, Chief Designer, Jaguar, to take it to the next stage and develop a workable concept, and with the support of key departments across the business, Project 7 was born.”

The result was a single-seat open-topped sports car, with a lowered windscreen and D-Type inspired rear faring swooping down from behind the driver to the rear. When it was revealed at Goodwood a year ago, the reaction was so positive that a decision was made to build a production version – albeit in limited numbers.

The production version debuting at Goodwood this week has been given a number of necessary tweaks to ensure it complies with road legislation but the end result still retains the looks of the concept seen in 2013.

Perhaps the most obvious difference is that the F-Type Project 7 is now a two-seater with a faring behind both the driver and passenger.

While it may be derived from the regular F-type there are some differences which make the Project 7 very special.

Each car is handmade and the body is crafted completely from aluminium, while the windscreen has been ‘chopped’ and lowered by 114mm for a total height of 30.5mm with windows sized to fit.

Jaguar has made extensive aerodynamic modifications including a revised front splitter made from plastic and carbon-fibre, this along with the carbon-fibre side skirts, rear diffuser and the adjustable rear spoiler increase downforce by 177 per cent.

Other parts made from carbon-fibre include the rear deck, side louvers and wing mirror caps, helping to achieve an overall weight reduction of 80kg compared to the regular F-Type for a kerb weight of 1585kg.

The cockpit features racing-inspired sports seats with optional four-point harnesses and a numbered plaque signed by Ian Callum sits between the seats.

Powering the F-Type Project 7 is the same 5.0-litre supercharged V8 found in the engine bay of the regular F-Type only this one produces 19kW more power for a total output of 423kW, while torque remains the same at 680Nm.

The F-Type’s ZF eight-speed automatic transmission was used as a starting point by the Special Vehicle Operations team which developed it further with revised shift points.

Rolling on 20-inch alloy wheels with a gloss black finish and shod with Continental ForceContact tyres (255/35/20 up front and 295/30/20 at the rear) and ceramic brakes, the Project 7 has a suspension set up also engineered by the Special Vehicle Operations team.

With the extra power and less weight the F-Type Project 7 can nail 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds – 0.4 seconds faster than the regular F-Type – before hitting an electronically limited top speed of 300km/h.

The F-Type Project 7 will be offered in five metallic colours, including Ultra Blue, Caldera Red, British Racing Green, Ultimate Black and Glacier White – with those last three featuring the racing decals.

The Project 7 will go on sale in the UK from next year and Jaguar Australia’s marketing and public affairs specialist Bethany Allsopp told GoAuto that the company is looking at prices and availability for the car in Australia.

“We’re hoping to know in the next couple of weeks, how many to bring in and what it’s going to cost and if we can actually make it happen,” Ms Allsopp said.

While pricing is yet to be confirmed, expect the F-Type Project 7 to cost more than the regular F-Type V8 S which retails for $201,945, plus on-road costs in Australia.

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