Limited-run Project 7 sports car to be put into production, with 250 units to be built at a cost of £135,000 each
Steve Cropley Autocar
26 June 2014

The spectacular Jaguar F-type Project 7 super-roadster – toast of last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed – is being put into limited production.

Jaguar is using the car as the centrepiece for the launch of its new Special Operations (SO) division whose job will be to produce a suite of cars and services specifically designed for the Jaguar faithful.

The division, eventually intended as a kind of cross between Bentley’s Mulliner and Mercedes’ AMG, is headed by former Land Rover brand boss John Edwards, who has spent the past nine months defining its structure, staffing and activities.

The production-ready Project 7 flagship adapts the F-type’s contemporary styling and hardware to create a car that recalls the all-conquering Le Mans-winning D-type, whose 60th anniversary the firm is celebrating this year. The ‘7’ signifies Jaguar’s pride at having won Le Mans seven times since the early 1950s, although bosses say that there is no plan for an imminent racing return.

Up to 250 examples will be built, and regular Jaguar dealers will sell them at £135,000 each. With an electronically governed top speed of 186mph and a 0-60mph sprint time of just 3.8sec, this will be one of the quickest production Jaguars ever.

This latest, production-spec Project 7 looks very similar to last year’s concept but differs in almost every detail and surface because of its need to comply with production car legislation and to maintain aerodynamic stability up to its governed 186mph top speed. 

Production models will be hand-built during 2015 by the new JLR sub-division called Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and headed by Paul Newsome, the ex-Lotus, ex-Williams engineer who was chief of the recent C-X75 hybrid supercar project.

The Project 7 idea was born about 18 months ago, from the pen of a young JLR designer, Cesar Pieri, in the group’s Whitley design studio. The sketches caught the eye of design boss Ian Callum, who gave them the go-ahead because he already knew that the company was looking for a car to wow the crowds at Goodwood 2013 – which the original Project 7 subsequently did in the hands of Jaguar engineer and master wheelman Mike Cross.

The enthusiastic reaction to the car, not least from potential buyers, convinced Edwards and Co that Project 7 would make an ideal flagship for its new division.

Essentially, the car is an F-type roadster relieved of its heavy hood mechanism and fitted with lightweight seats that carve a cool 80kg off the kerb weight and leave it at a respectable 1585kg.

Compared with the regular roadster, Project 7 has a new front bumper and splitter, a cut-down windscreen, a prominent fairing (incorporating a rollover bar) behind the driver’s head, new side skirts and diffuser and a deck-mounted wing.

The interior is obviously F-type, but there are all-new carbonfibre-backed quilted seats, the steering wheel is Alcantara-covered and some clever colour highlights give the car a character of its own. Each example gets a uniquely numbered plaque located between the seats and signed by Ian Callum.

The engine is an improved version of Jaguar’s familiar supercharged 5.0-litre V8. Peak power is  567bhp, available at 6500rpm, and peak torque is 502lb ft from 2500-5500rpm.

Power flows to the driven 20-inch rear wheels (and their optional fat Continental ContiForceContact tyres) first through a specially modified version of ZF’s eight-speed automatic gearbox (controlled, as in all Jaguars, by shift paddles) and then to a rear-mounted electronic limited-slip differential.

Project 7’s switchable exhaust (silenced or straight-through) has four matt-painted tailpipes, ceramic-coated so that they don’t set fire to the nearby diffuser.

The chassis gets special, SVO-manufactured front suspension uprights to increase negative camber, plus modifications to the front top mounts and fatter anti-roll bars front and rear. The whole system is height adjustable at both ends, and Project 7 now has spring and damper rates tailored to its special duties. The usual adaptive dynamics control the body very well, engineers say.

The brakes consist of carbon-ceramic rotors – 398mm in diameter at the front and 380mm behind – with six-piston and four-piston calipers respectively. These are usually offered as an option on regular V8s, but Project 7 gets them as standard. 

Electronic co-operation between these, the electronic diff and the car’s built-in stability control provides helpful brake-controlled torque vectoring (to optimise traction and turn-in) and increases steering feel, engineers say. Compared with a standard F-type V8, drivers should expect firmer damping, more steering weight, faster gearchanges and quicker throttle response.

As a result of its extensive aero modifications, the production Project 7 develops 177 per cent more downforce at top speed than a standard F-type convertible. In production, the car is now a proper two-seater (it was originally proposed as transport for one) and there is even a temporary fabric roof that clips to the convertible’s header rail and can be stowed in the car’s notably shallow luggage compartment of about 200 litres’ capacity.

Head of Special Operations John Edwards expects lively demand for the production Project 7, although he has no orders yet because the idea is only being announced this week. He expects to sell cars in South Africa, Australia, Russia, Brazil and Asia-Pacific as well as the US and Europe. US specifications will differ a little from the rest and will be revealed in late summer. Deliveries will start in mid-2015 and should be complete within the year.

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Comments
13

25 June 2014
Jaguar has no confidence it will sell the 250. And I share its pessimism - at £135k, the number just do not add up.

F-Type is dead on the showroom floor already - I'm not talking UK, but around the world. This will just add to the glut.

25 June 2014
soldi wrote:

Jaguar has no confidence it will sell the 250. And I share its pessimism - at £135k, the number just do not add up.

F-Type is dead on the showroom floor already - I'm not talking UK, but around the world. This will just add to the glut.

Ideally people who know nothing keep their gobs shut. But once in a while some nimwit does come along to shout out his ignorance!!!

How the f do you know as to how many cars they sell around the world. There was some report claiming it doesn't shift in usa, but who gives 2 hoots about that. Yankees prefer cheap V8 power and are happy if the car has huge seats and can go in a straight line.

In Europe (not just UK) they have shifted a 1000 F types the first quarter and mind you the coupe supply wasn't in full swing. Thats more than the SL or the GT86, both of which are cheaper!!

It has also surpassed sales targets in China and ME!!

I know you will retort with some nonsense about how JLR is bad and how everything else is much better. Why don't you go back and take a look at both the profits and sales of the firm since it left Ford, and then wake up!!

25 June 2014
shortbread wrote:

Ideally people who know nothing keep their gobs shut.

You've been previously exposed as a JLR employee and therefore just a tad partisan. The F-Type is an overpriced, overweight and overhyped sales problem for Jaguar. As you seem to know so much about targets, then please do tell us all what the original sales plan was worldwide, and how its performing? And why don't you compare to the Boxster or Cayman that were launched at the same time? Oh, I know, its because those two cars have great performance, light weights and are booming. In short dealers can't get enough of them - in total contrast to Jag dealers that are sitting on stock and cancelling factory orders.

25 June 2014
soldi wrote:

You've been previously exposed as a JLR employee and therefore just a tad partisan.

No you muppet, I dont work for JLR, I live in the NE of Scotland!!

soldi wrote:

then please do tell us all what the original sales plan was worldwide, and how its performing?.

Well if you did not know this then why simply make rampant statements that the F type isnt selling. Just admit the truth that u know nothing about cars!!

soldi wrote:

And why don't you compare to the Boxster or Cayman that were launched at the same time?

The Boxster was launched 18 years ago and is on its 3rd generation. This is Jags first proper sports car in nearly 4 decades!!! With the convertible alone Jag is competing against a company that's had a virtual strangle hold of the market so far!!

soldi wrote:

Jag dealers that are sitting on stock and cancelling factory orders.

If you are not a liar show the proof!!

25 June 2014
shortbread wrote:

I dont work for JLR, I live in the NE of Scotland!!

Oh, of course, JLR don't employ Scots do they? And certainly not those living in the NE.

25 June 2014
Soldi,
Don't want to wast time on you, so I took the first comparative facts I got my hands on: the US market.

Jaguar sold 431 F-types in the US this past May. For perspective, the F-type production line (ex XK line) does not allow to build more than 1000 per month, worldwide.

In the same month Porsche sold 723 Boxster+Caymans, down almost 20% on May last year. Booming you said? Dealers can't get enough? More like the public had enough :-)

BTW, sales of the 911 were also down.

27 June 2014
soldi wrote:

Jaguar has no confidence it will sell the 250. And I share its pessimism - at £135k, the number just do not add up.

F-Type is dead on the showroom floor already - I'm not talking UK, but around the world. This will just add to the glut.

How on earth can you quote that FTYPE sales are dead???? And Globally too??

Unless you work in the equivalent of the DVLA in every country then your quote is childish and ridiculous.

This is your personal view and if you have some sort of hatred to the car then keep it to yourself.

25 June 2014
Limited to 250? If it sells well will they demonstrate customer loyalty or break their promise of exclusivity and knock out another 250. I might be wrong but I think Renault did this with the Clio Williams, answers on a postcard please.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

25 June 2014
The Project 7 is stunning looking and is a great homage to the D Type and indeed Jaguar's Le Mans particpation. Jaguar is by far and away the most reverred and famous marque associated with Le Mans, so this car is a fitting tribute. And it's also testament to the F Type that a special edition can be spun off so early in its life. The F Type has been a huge sales sucess (I've seen far more than 991 911s for example) and it has already become stuff of legend, especially as it's the finest sports car around, even by Autocar's assessment, so the Project 7 is an ideal concept to build on the standard car's reputation and success while it also showcases Jaguar's capability in the low volume and specialiased field. And at £135k, while it's more than the F Type R, it's worth every penny (the standard car could cost £100k more and still be worth it) and it makes rivals, like a 458, R8 and 911, look even more overpriced and inferior. Jaguar continues to show rivals the way. I just wish they pressed ahead with the C-X75 hypercar to further cement Jaguar's reputation as one of the world leaders in design, engineering and technology and car development while it, along with the McLaren P1, would have moved the hypercar game along, far beyond the reach of the 918, Huayra, LaFerrari and others.

28 June 2014
Roadster wrote:

The Project 7 is stunning looking and is a great homage to the D Type and indeed Jaguar's Le Mans particpation . . . I just wish they pressed ahead with the C-X75 hypercar to further cement Jaguar's reputation as one of the world leaders in design, engineering and technology and car development . . . .

The 250 examples of the “Project 7” flagship are to be hand-built during 2015.

It is to be hoped that John Edwards - boss of JLR’s new Special Operations (SO) division - will then encourage the sub-division called Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and headed by Paul Newsome (the ex-Lotus, ex-Williams engineer) who was chief of the recent C-X75 hybrid supercar project . . . to then bring that very same C-X75 to production.

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