Photos Courtesy of JaguarThere are all Types of Jaguars out there — we don't mean black or spotted, of course, and we don't just mean sedans and convertibles. There were the oft-maligned X-Type and S-Type saloons, the celebrated E-Type sports car, the all-conquering D-Type race car and the new F-Type roadster. But now Jaguar's brought the latter two together with the glorious Project 7 concept car you see here.
Unveiled just a couple of weeks ago at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Project 7 concept borrows its underpinnings from the F-Type and its inspiration from the D-Type. Its name pays tribute to the seven wins the marque has claimed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which makes Jaguar the fourth most accomplished constructor in the iconic endurance race's history (behind only Porsche, Audi and Ferrari). The legendary D-Type accounted for three of those, scored consecutively between 1955 and 1957.
To revive that winning spirit, Jaguar transformed the F-Type — which is already reinventing the brand's modern image — into the one-of-a-kind Project 7. While much of the bodywork below the belt line looks the same as the production car on which it is based, the team led by Jaguar's legendary design director Ian Callum gave Project 7 several new details. One will find a single-seat open cockpit with a helmet holder replacing the passenger seat, a chopped-down windshield, and the same kind of rear fin you'd see on classic Le Mans racers like the D-Type or Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa.
“When you look at this car, it has got an enormous amount of appeal,” said Callum. “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.”
Jaguar also gave the concept a unique set of 20-inch wheels, a carbon-fiber aero kit and a retro blue-and-white paint job reminiscent of the Ecurie Ecosse team that campaigned the D-Type to such success in the 1950s. The Coventry-based automaker didn't leave things there. While the F-Type offers three engine options topping out at the 500-horsepower supercharged V8, Jaguar slotted the more powerful 550-horse version from the R-S performance models to enable this unique concept — unlike many non-functional show cars — to rocket to 60 in 4.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 186 miles per hour. And so it did on the drive up the hill at Goodwood in front of an enthralled crowd.