In summer 2013, Jaguar’s secretive Special Operations arm revealed the Project 7 concept, an extreme roadster based on the company’s then-new F-Type model. As with any Ian Callum creation, we gawped at its enchanting blend of beauty and race-honed menace. Now, at the forthcoming 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed, we will finally be able to feast our eyes on the fully evolved version of this concept, as Jaguar unveil their new F-Type Project 7 roadster.
Set to make its debut at the famous motoring extravaganza on 26 June, the fully fledged Project 7 is not only the first performance vehicle from Jaguar’s Special Operations team but also nothing less than the fastest and most powerful production car ever produced by the British firm. This is all down to a quite remarkable set of performance figures pumped out by Jag’s beastly 567bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine. The Project 7 accelerates from 0-60mph in an SLS rivalling 3.8-seconds up to an electronically-limited top speed of 186mph. That razor sharp acceleration is channelled via an eight-speed gearbox and is kept in check by a set of Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes fitted as standard. The F-Type Project 7’s race-tuned suspension and active torque vectoring facilitates extremely precise handling. The best part? All this power comes wrapped up in a fully road-legal package.
The Project 7’s design has been kept true to the lines of the original Project 7 concept. Although the production model gets an extra seat and with rollover hoops for both driver and passenger compared to its single-seater prototype, in essence the exterior retains many familiar cues. The distinctive all-aluminium roadster body pays homage to one of the most famous and iconic racing Jaguars: the three-time Le Mans winning D-type, which in 2014 is celebrating its 60th anniversary year. In fact, the name itself is steeped in racing history, evoking Jaguar’s seven outright Le Mans wins. Notable additions include the D-type-inspired fairing behind the driver’s head, a shorter windshield, and a new front bumper, whilst aerodynamic modifications to the carbon-fibre front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser and adjustable rear spoiler optimise downforce.
The F-Type Project 7 is without doubt the closest we’ve seen to a genuine Jaguar supercar for many years and certainly has the stats to match the cream of the crop in some departments. Producing will be strictly limited to 250 highly sort-after units, all of which will no doubt be snapped up by the time deliveries begin in mid-2015.