This is the Project 7, a fully-functional, high-performance sports car (translation: it’s not a concept) that highlights the automaker’s new F-Type roadster while also paying homage to its winning tradition at Le Mans that saw the automaker take home the title seven times between 1951-1990 - a record for a British manufacturer.
Notice that the blue paintwork of the Project 7 looks like a classic shade turned up for a modern purpose. That’s not an accident because this same color is reminiscent of the victorious Jaguar D-types of 1956/1957. Pretty interesting historical fact, huh?
And like we’ve already mentioned, the basis for the Project 7 is the F-Type, particularly the latter’s rigid all-aluminum architecture, providing the perfect starting point for Jaguar to add some tweaks and modifications and giving birth to quite a stunning sports car.
Updated 10/03/2013: Jaguar unveiled a new video featuring Ian Callum which explains the design process behind the new Project 7. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar Project 7
The moment we saw the Jaguar Project 7, the immediate thought in our heads was how this concept looks straight out of the Speed Racer cartoon. It’s overall shape does look the part of a bona fide racer and while design cues of the F-Type are clearly visible in the racer’s design, Jaguar made enough tweaks to the overall look to differentiate the Project 7 from its donor.
One of the most noticeable differences is the huge fairing just behind the driver’s head, as indicative a sign that Jaguar’s development of the concept came with homage to the tradition of the bygone racers of yesteryear.
The Project 7 also has a restyled front bumper with larger intakes on either side of the grille. There’s also a new front splitter that we looks to have been added to for improved aerodynamic purposes. The windshield looks to have been lowered too, clearing higher wind disturbance to improve the sports car’s performance credentials. From there, side skirts and aluminum wing mirrors were also added, the latter made from carbon fiber and inspired by another Jaguar concept: the 2011 C-X16 . Another unique addition is the fixed rear spoiler, designed to have a 14-degree angle of attack, thus giving the sports car a low, unified, muscular stance.
Oh, and don’t forget the prevalent round ’7’ badges on the hood, sidesand boot of the Project 7. Just so people don’t forget what this Jaguar racer really stands for.
As a sports roadster /racer, there’s not enough interior space to make you worry about any space issues. Jaguar doesn’t even bother emphasizing how much space the Project 7 has in its cabin. It even took one seat away in favor of using it as a helmet holder. Can you guess what this car’s built for?
Instead, it treated the cabin to the full-on racing experience, adding only a single composite seat finished in a quilted racing-style diamond pattern with its own four-point racing harness. There are also loads of carbon-fiber inserts on the console and SportShift lever; the start-stop button was finished in gloss black, while the steering wheel is equipped with machined-aluminum paddles. There’s a helmet holder and a custom trim, though, just in case you’re feeling the cabin is a little too bare for your liking.
The Jaguar Project 7 is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 550 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 5,000 rpm while mated to an eight-speed ’Quickshift’ transmission. The full blown performance credentials of the Project 7 allows it to hit 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds to go with an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.
|Engine & Transmission|
|Engine Capacity (cc)||5000|
|Valves per cylinder||4|
|Top speed - electronically limited (mph)||186|
|Top speed - electronically limited (km/h)||300|
|Torque (lb ft@rpm)||502@2500-5500|
|Wheels||20-inch Blade forged-alloy|
|Tires||Pirelli P Zero 255/30/20 (front) / 295/30/20 (rear)|
While Jaguar did say that the Project 7 is a "not a static concept, but a fully-functional, high-performance sports car", any thought of actually buying one of these babies is still a little premature. The automaker has given no indication that the car will go on sale in the future.
Possible ’one-off’ showpiece vehicles are tricky when it comes to finding a suitable competition. For one, they’re likely not to go on sale and for another, there’s not that many of them in the first place.
Fortunately, another recent one-off was built and incidentally, it came from another British automaker: the Aston Martin CC100 Speedster .
Just to be clear, there are plenty of differences between the CC100 and the Project 7. The former doesn’t have any semblance of a windshield and it’s got a pair of independent racing seats that was inspired by the 1959 DBR1.
But the overall look and purpose of both cars are undeniably similar: they make for great racers and they’ve got similar performance numbers. Aston Martin didn’t release the power figures for the CC100 but it did say that the racer’s latest generation AM11 naturally aspirated V-12 gasoline engine can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 180 mph.
Gallery Aston Martin CC100
Everything about the Jaguar Project 7 speaks to our desire to get behind the wheel and take it out for a spin. That’s a pipe dream, though, so we’re not going to get our hopes up. But if it did somehow find its way into production, the Project 7’s unique balance of character, history, and downright awesomeness will sell it out faster than you can say "Speed Racer!"
- Beautiful body
- Powerful performance numbers
- Just a total knockout
- Can we buy it?
- What happened to the interior?
Jaguar’s Project 7 concept will make a dynamic debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed on 12th July. Project 7 is based on Jaguar’s acclaimed F-TYPE, its all-new, two-seater, convertible sports car and winner of the World Car Design of the Year 2013 award.
Key exterior design changes include a fairing behind the driver’s head; bespoke carbon-fibre components - a new front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser; lowered windshield and restyled front bumper. Project 7’s unique interior features a composite single-seat with racing harness, a helmet holder and custom trim. Project 7’s name acknowledges Jaguar’s winning of Le Mans seven times between 1951-1990 - a record for a British manufacturer - and its blue paintwork is reminiscent of the victorious Jaguar D-types of 1956/1957.
Project 7 is not a static concept, but a fully-functional, high-performance sports car. The F-TYPE’s rigid all-aluminium architecture provides the perfect starting point, power coming from Jaguar’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine in 550PS/680Nm form - an increase of 55PS and 55Nm over the F-TYPE V8 S.
"The overriding dynamic aim when developing F-TYPE was ensuring connected feel; it’s a true, driver-focused sports car; agile, immediate, fast and, of course, fun. Having achieved that for the road, 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. I’m very much looking forward to driving it at Goodwood."
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity,Jaguar
In addition to the increase in power - delivered to the rear wheels through Jaguar’s eight-speed Quickshift transmission and electronic active differential - Project 7 also features a free-flow exhaust system with a ceramic finish, 10mm lower ride height and a unique spring/damper tune.
"Jaguar’s sporting bloodline and innovative ambition are perfectly embodied by Project 7, both through its sensual design, and its shattering performance. Project 7’s Goodwood debut will provide a great stage to showcase the creativity of our design and engineering teams."
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar
Project 7: A story of passion
Under Director of Design, Ian Callum, who constantly challenges his team to push the boundaries of design, Project 7 went from being an experimental sketch by Jaguar designer Cesar Pieri to the track in just four months.
Bringing to bear his love for cars and motorsport, his passion for Jaguar’s heritage, and his familiarity with the F-TYPE, Pieri drew a single-seater sports car with a swooping profile, cut-down windscreen and race-inspired livery.
"When I saw this sketch of a low-screen, single-seat F-TYPE, I felt enthused by it and wanted to take it further. As designers, our very purpose is to disrupt - to turn the norm on its head and see if it still works - and here at Jaguar, we love to push the boundaries.
"As a team our challenge was to take this gem of an idea, work within the limitations of production feasibility, and create something worthwhile. So I encouraged Cesar and Alister Whelan, Chief Designer, Jaguar, to take it to the next stage and develop a workable concept, and with the support of key departments across the business, Project 7 was born."
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar
Following digital modelling, a clay model of Project 7 was produced. With that signed off, and time before Goodwood short, Jaguar’s engineering team worked closely with the design team to ensure that the build stayed true to the concept.
For Project 7, the F-TYPE’s two key ’heartlines’ remain, the most prominent change being the completely new, D-type-inspired, rear fairing section that incorporates a rollover hoop and swoops down from behind the driver’s head. The roof system has been completely removed.
Aerodynamic modifications include a carbon-fibre front splitter, side skirts, large rear diffuser and a fixed rear spoiler with a 14-degree angle of attack, giving Project 7 a low, unified, muscular stance. The side louvres and bonnet vents are also carbon-fibre, while the carbon-fibre and aluminium wing mirrors draw inspiration from those on Jaguar’s C-X16 sports car concept, from which F-TYPE is derived.
The windshield has been lowered, while a new nose design incorporates revised air intakes and headlights with gloss black surrounds instead of chrome. The car sits on 20-inch Blade forged-alloy wheels with carbon-fibre inserts.
The cockpit of Project 7 is no less impressive than its exterior. The driver sits in a composite bucket seat, lowered by 30mm, and is gripped by a four-point racing harness. The passenger seat is replaced by a unique helmet holder, which carries a custom-designed 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-fibre inserts on the console and SportShift lever, the start-stop button is gloss black and the steering wheel is equipped with machined aluminium 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."