Founded in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division is already responsible for two of the most powerful vehicles to wear the Jaguar and Range Rover badges. I’m talking about the limited-edition Jaguar F-Type Project 7, a 567-horsepower tribute to the company’s glorious Le Mans past, and the Range Rover Sport SVR, a 542-horsepower SUV that’s quicker than a base Porsche 911. We already know there are more SVR vehicles underway, but it seems Special Vehicle Operations is now considering creating distinct cars instead of just modifying existing JLR products.

"We’re certainly looking at that, and we’ve got the capability to do that. Is there an opportunity for us to do a completely stand-alone car? Maybe," John Edwards, head of Special Vehicle Operations, told Bloomberg. Although Edwards stopped short of revealing actual details about the company’s plans, the report claims Jaguar could be following in the footsteps of Mercedes-Benz, which commissioned its AMG brand to build the SLS AMG and Mercedes-AMG GT as stand-alone, high-performance sports cars.

Production of the SLS AMG ended in 2014 after a five-year run, while the AMG GT made its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show as a competitor for the Porsche 911. The new sports car is due to arrive in U.S. showrooms for the 2016 model year.

Why it matters

By enabling its SVO division to build stand-alone, high-performance vehicles, Jaguar Land Rover could gain access to a small but profitable segment. Although there’s no word on which of the two brands will expand this way, it’s likely Jaguar will be the first to benefit from the program. Jaguar needs both a supercar and a replacement for the XKR, two vehicles that could be a good starting point for a performance brand. On the other hand, don’t expect for SVO’s first stand-alone vehicle to arrive anytime soon, as the brand is currently booked working on various performance cars based on Jaguars and Land Rovers.

2015 Jaguar F-Type Project 7

2015 Jaguar F-Type Project 7 High Resolution Exterior
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Launched at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed , the production version of the Project 7 concept takes center stage as the quickest and most powerful, road-legal Jaguar ever built. It pays tribute to the seven Le Mans victories scored by Jaguar between 1951 and 1990 and borrows styling cues from the iconic D-Type racer.

The Project 7 is fitted with the same supercharged, 5.0-liter, V-8 engine found in the F-Type R Coupe, but output has been increased to 567 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, a 25-horsepower improvement. Numerous chassis improvements enable this special-edition F-Type to be quite nimble on the track. Only 250 units will be built.

Source: Bloomberg

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