Fresh from the launch of the F-Type, its first all-new sport cars in half a century, Jaguar plans to lift the cover on a dramatic new concept car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this coming weekend.
Dubbed the Project 7, the chopped-top roadster is meant to honor the British brand’s seven victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance between 1951 and 1990, something signaled by a few retro touches, such as the single turret flowing from behind the driver’s seat, a signature of the once-dominant Jaguar D-Type racers. The blue paintwork is also reminiscent of the victorious Jaguar D-type cars of 1956 and 1957.
“Project 7 is a single-seat sports car based on the F-Type, with the kind of racing-inspired form that designers dream about,” explains Jaguar’s global design director Ian 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 Jaguar P7 is far from just a retro car, however. The single-seater is meant to take the new F-Type to a higher level of performance, but borrows much of the new sports car’s fundamentals, including its rigid, all-aluminum architecture and supercharged V-8, notes the British maker’s chief engineer Mike Cross.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels through an eight-speed ZF transmission with “Quickshift” technology, and an active electronically controlled limited slip differential. Project 7 also features a free-flow exhaust system with a ceramic finish that enhances. The driveline actually is borrowed from the XKR-S and makes 550 horsepower, 54 more than the regular F-Type V8.
(Check out TheDetroitBureau.com’s review of the new Jaguar F-Type. Click Here.)
The P7’s ride height has been lowered 10mm lower ride and a custom-calibrated suspension tuning is designed to keep the sports car firmly planted. The one-seater rides on 20-inch alloy wheels with carbon fiber inserts.
Aerodynamic modifications include a carbon-fiber front air splitter, side skirts, large rear diffuser and a fixed rear wing with a 14-degree angle of attack, giving Project 7 a low muscular stance. The side louvers and hood vents are also carbon-fiber, while the carbon-fiber and aluminum mirrors draw inspiration from those on Jaguar’s C-X16 sports car concept, which inspired the F-Type.
All told, Jaguar claims the Project 7 can launch from 0 to 100 kmh, or 62.5 mph, in 4.1 seconds.
“When I saw (an early) sketch of a low-screen, single-seat F-Type, I felt enthused by it and wanted to take it further,” Callum said. “Project 7 has given us a unique opportunity to go that little bit further. It’s visceral in every sense – its response, its sound and its sheer performance.”
(Jaguar prepping 700-hp hybrid F-Type. Click Here for the details.)
The cockpit of Project 7 is no less impressive. The driver sits in a composite bucket seat, which is 1.2 inches lower than the stock Jaguar F-Type seat, and is gripped by a four-point racing harness. The passenger seat is replaced by a custom fabricated helmet holder, which carries a one-off Project 7 helmet in matching blue paint and graphics, secured by its own harness.
The seat and the insides of the doors are finished in a quilted racing-style diamond pattern. There are carbon-fiber inserts on the console and shift lever, and the steering wheel is equipped with machined aluminum paddles.
“When you look at this car, it has got an enormous amount of appeal. It’s just full of desire – you can see that its sole purpose is to be enjoyed. Project 7 is a very special car – not just because it’s a one-off, but because of its purity of purpose. It’s pure Jaguar,” Callum said.
Oh, and production plans? Sadly, none it appears. Though we’re still holding our breath for a widely rumored Jaguar F-Type Coupe.
Paul A. Eisenstein contributed to this report.
Tags: Jaguar P7, Jaguar Project 7, auto news, car news, goodwood festival of speed, ian callum, jaguar concept, jaguar f-type, jaguar goodwood, jaguar news, jaguar roadster, joe szczesny, thedetroitbureau