New Project 7 F-type premieres at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

This is the Jaguar Project 7, a design study based on the F-type convertible, which has made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

As well as evoking the spirit of the Jaguar D-type and Jaguar’s Le Mans history, the Project 7 gives a further indication that Jaguar is preparing to launch an extreme version of the F-type.

The latest reports suggest that the new hardcore F-type will get at least 650bhp and, potentially, four-wheel drive.

The Project 7, named in homage to Jaguar’s seven Le Mans wins, is billed as a one-off design study created at the behest of design director Ian Callum. He said: “Project 7 has the kind of racing-inspired form that designers dream about.

"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.”

His vision has been backed by Jaguar’s engineering team, which has given the car a 542bhp version of Jaguar’s 5.0-litre supercharged engine, with 501lb ft of torque, as found in the Jaguar XJR and XKR-S. That’s 54bhp and 41lb ft more than the range-topping F-type V8 S. 

It also sits 10mm lower than a standard F-type, has retuned springs and dampers and features a free-flow exhaust system with a ceramic finish. Jaguar claims a 0-60mph time of 4.1sec, a 50-75mph time of 2.4sec and a limited top speed of 186mph.

The Project 7 will be driven exclusively by Jaguar’s lead development driver, Mike Cross, throughout the Festival of Speed. He said: “Project 7 has given us the opportunity to go a little bit further. It is visceral in every sense — in its response, its sound and its sheer performance.”

Key exterior changes include a D-type-inspired fairing behind the driver’s head, a carbonfibre front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, fixed rear wing, a lowered windscreen and a restyled front bumper. 

The roof structure has been completely removed and a roll hoop installed. Inside, it has a single racing seat and harness, a helmet holder and a bespoke trim design. The blue paint scheme evokes the colour of the Jaguar D-types that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1956 and 1957.

The Project 7 was created to win headlines for Jaguar at the Festival of Speed, which it regards as its home motor show and which attracts international interest on a par with other major motor shows. Although a Jaguar spokesman denied it, rumours have also persisted that Jaguar wanted to ensure that its F-type remained in the limelight at the festival, despite the headline event being the 50th anniversary of Porsche’s 911.

The creation of the Project 7 also signals Jaguar’s intention to create an F-type R-S GT to sit as the flagship model in its range. The project, which would most likely be based on the forthcoming F-type coupé, is said to have found favour in the wake of the cancellation of the Jaguar C-X75 hypercar programme, particularly as it feeds directly back into the promotion of a mainstream model in the company’s range.

The hot F-type is likely to reach production in 2015. It is expected to be powered by the same supercharged V8 as used in the Project 7 car, albeit in a higher state of tune. 

Brand boss Adrian Hallmark has previously admitted that engineers have already experimented with higher-output versions of the engine, but they have struggled to get the additional power down on the road. As a result, Jaguar is said to be weighing up the use of a four-wheel drive system on the hardcore new F-type variant. 

In the build-up to the launch of the F-type GT, Jaguar is also expected to develop more hard-edged versions of both the coupé and convertible. Insiders have confirmed that the company plans to market the R, R-S and GT brands more aggressively in future. 

R models will be billed as sporting versions of mainstream models, R-S cars will be extreme performance vehicles and GT variants will be limited-edition, track-focused specials.

The Jaguar D-Type was produced between 1954 and 1957 in extremely limited numbers and won Le Mans in 1955, 1956 and 1957. It is famed for being designed under the stewardship of ex-Bristol Aeroplane Company luminary Malcolm Sayer, using aeronautical technology, a rarity at the time.

Sayer insisted on a minimal frontal area, reworked the flow of air under the body and produced the iconic elliptical cockpit shape to reduce drag. Such was the car’s top speed that a rear-mounted fin had to be added behind the driver’s head to provide extra stability, most notably on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. For the 1955 race, the headrest fairing and aerodynamic fin were combined for the first time, creating a single unit that both smoothed the aerodynamics further and saved weight.

The timing of the Project 7’s launch also harks back to the lightweight Jaguar E-type’s unveiling in 1963, meaning that it shares its 50th anniversary with the Porsche 911. The E-type was also famous for being constructed of riveted aluminium, drawing another neat parrallel with the new F-type.

For all the latest news from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, stay tuned to Autocar.co.uk

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

The Jaguar F-Type convertible provides direct competition to the 718 Boxster and the 911 Cabriolet, but can the big cat take a bite out of its Porsche rivals?

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Comments
18

10 July 2013

I saw a white one last weekend, fantastic soundtrack. I guess this one will be even better. But unless you use lots of hair-gel and way too much perfume, I suggest you buy one in a different color though. Blue like this one, red, black or gray would look smashing.

Can't wait to see the coupe version.

10 July 2013

I would've preferred to see a lightweight version of the F-Type.

In reality this concept is heavier than the base car, meaning the power-to-weight ratio won't have moved much. But having a negative impact on cornering by virtue of having to carry more weight through corners.

And then they talk about 4wd, meaning even more weight.

F-Type is already lardy; now getting clinically obese.

Jag, you need to focus on reducing weight, not adding it. Please.

10 July 2013

I will freely admit that the F-Type is up there amongst my favourite cars, so I am biased, but as a design study, this is just fantastic. And, as a design study, I am not convinced weight is that important here.

10 July 2013

Who's really telling the truth about their performance figures?

Let's compare the wonderful looking Jaguar F-Type to the over weight Nissan GTR.

The GTR has a couple of major differences 4 wheel drive, and two turbos but can it really be that much fast with less horsepower: -

 

F-Type

0-60=4.1 sec, 650 bhp

Top Speed=186 mpg (limited)

Weight=1665 kg, estimated based upon v8 S

 

GTR

0-60=2.84 sec, 550 bhp

Top Speed=196 mph

Weight=2200 kg

 

Why can't a car that's weighs over 500 kg less (even if that’s the dry weight vs wet, which is unclear on the F-Type/GTR adverts) and with 100 bhp more, still be 1.26 seconds slower 0-60, that’s impossible/or is it traction limited?

10 July 2013

mysteryx wrote:

F-Type

0-60=4.1 sec, 650 bhp

Top Speed=186 mpg (limited)

Weight=1665 kg, estimated based upon v8 S

 

GTR

0-60=2.84 sec, 550 bhp

Top Speed=196 mph

Weight=2200 kg

 

Why can't a car that's weighs over 500 kg less (even if that’s the dry weight vs wet, which is unclear on the F-Type/GTR adverts) and with 100 bhp more, still be 1.26 seconds slower 0-60, that’s impossible/or is it traction limited?

First the F-Type has 550PS - not 650 so any power advantage is gone straight away!  The Jag has about 55Nm more torque to play with though.

The big differences between these cars are the 4wd vs 2wd and the type of gearbox.  The 4wd system will knock probably 0.5 - 1s off the 0-60 time and the Nissan 'box can shift a lot more quickly - hence the time difference.

On a different matter it's good to see Jag using Shelsley Walsh as the photo venue.  I enjoy Shelsley and as the oldest, continuously used, motorsport venue in the world nice to see an OEM using for 'heritage' shots!!

10 July 2013

mysteryx wrote:

Let's compare the wonderful looking Jaguar F-Type to the over weight Nissan GTR.

The GTR has a couple of major differences 4 wheel drive, and two turbos but can it really be that much fast with less horsepower: -

 

F-Type

0-60=4.1 sec, 650 bhp

Top Speed=186 mpg (limited)

Weight=1665 kg, estimated based upon v8 S

 

GTR

0-60=2.84 sec, 550 bhp

Top Speed=196 mph

Weight=2200 kg

You've made some significant errors there.

 

1) The GT-R doesn't weigh 2,200kg! Take off about 400kg and you're about there.

2) The F-Type V8S doesn't have 650bhp. Try 500bhp. You say the F-Type has 100bhp more than the GT-R, but it actually has 50bhp less. 

3) This one's a subjective matter I'll admit, but the F-Type isn't "wonderful-looking". Far from it in my opinion. But then again, this last one's a matter of opinion. I prefer the aggressive stance of the GT-R to the challenging lines of the F-Type, but obviously there's no right or wrong there.

 

As well as the 50bhp power advantage, the GT-R benefits from 4WD (better traction), better tyres (better traction again), a better gearbox (quicker shifts) and launch control. This is why the more expensive F-Type V8S doesn't stand a chance keeping up with the GT-R off the line. It's never going to keep up in the bends either.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/251403548293889/

12 July 2013

There are no errors, other than the GTR's 550 bhp should read 550 PS, the GTR figures come right from their website, and 2200 Kg's it is: -

http://www.nissan.co.uk/#vehicles/sports-cars/gt-r/pricing-and-specifications/discover/specifications/bodies

Obviously you didn't read the article that we all did 'above' about the ‘Project 7’ car having at least 650 bhp, suggest before posting in future you read it first.

12 July 2013

mysteryx wrote:

There are no errors, other than the GTR's 550 bhp should read 550 PS, the GTR figures come right from their website, and 2200 Kg's it is: -

Famous last words...2200kg is the GT-R's gross vehicle weight, NOT the kerb weight. Nissan quote 1740kg without driver as the kerb weight for the GT-R. Although technically lighter the GT-R Track Pack is homologated with the identical kerb weight.


12 July 2013

mysteryx wrote:

2200 Kg's it is

But it isn't.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/251403548293889/

10 July 2013

It is all about traction and the gearbox.4WD is the answer,still for this ultimate Jaguar,nice though it is, to be slower than an E63'S'Wagon by 0.5 sec and slower than a Bog standard C63 [Car & Driver Dec 07 0-60 3.9] is just awful.Look at Astons,they are similarly lagging behind.It is interesting they have finally figured out that 4WD may be an option!I say bring it on and lets see a drag race with an E63'S'Wagon.I'll bet on the wagon!!

Madmac

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