Jaguar is unleashing its fastest and most powerful F-type, a limited edition speedster version called Project 7.
Project 7 is a hand-built, aluminium and carbonfibre beauty inspired by the glory of Jaguar’s seven Le Mans victories. Estimated to cost around £130,000, it will be the first Jaguar from the newly formed Special Operations division, Jaguar Land Rover’s dedicated halo car team.
How does Project 7 revamp the Jaguar F-type?
The new speedster runs the punchiest version of Jaguar’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8, pumping out 516lb ft of torque and 567bhp. That’s 79bhp more than the F-type V8 S roadster, and because Project 7 is 80kg lighter than its stablemate, it reaches 60mph half-a-second quicker – in just 3.8sec. The 186mph top speed remains the same, though.
Project 7 packs far more than impressive performance figures; Jaguar views this car as a showcase for its Special Operations prowess. There’s a bespoke bodykit, including an outlandish fin behind the driver’s seat, which channels air to a mighty rear wing reminiscent of the Le Mans-winning D-type. Other carbonfibre aerodynamic aids include a new front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser: all told, the new parts produce 177% more downforce than the standard F-Type convertible musters, Jaguar claims.
Jaguar F-type Project 7 and Special Ops
Special Operations engineers have worked on all aspects of the car, giving it a bespoke suspension setup, including Project 7-specific components and spring rates. Negative camber has been increased to boost grip – this car is designed to eat up circuits. Other features include carbon-ceramic brakes, claimed to deliver strong and consistent stopping power, and torque vectoring to complement the electronic differential, which varies the flow of torque between the rear wheels depending on grip levels.
‘It’s a very beautiful, very fast and very exciting car,’ said Paul Newsome, director of Special Operations. ’It’s the first car we’ll build through our Special Ops technical centre. The interest and passion we found from customers to whom we showed the car was mirrored by the team within Jaguar, so we had to take the project forward.’
Project 7 seems a bit familiar…
You may have seen Project 7 as a concept car at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. That was a single-seater but the production car has two berths: potential customers who convinced Jaguar to build the car wanted to take their partners for a ride too. The speedster comes with an emergency 'Bimini' roof, which Jaguar promises will get you home in a rainshower.
Project 7 gets new lightweight bucket seats with a carbonfibre structure to reduce mass, clothed in quilted leather. For those chasing a true race car-feel, four-point harnesses will be available to order as an accessory. The steering wheel will be finished in either alcantara or leather, backed by machined aluminium gearshift paddles; carbonfibre trim covers the centre stack too.
The first Project 7 deliveries are expected by mid-2015. But if you’re going to this year’s Festival of Speed, you’ll be able to see – and hear it – in the flesh.