The Goodwood Festival of Speed has established itself as one of the prime events for manufacturers to show off their prototypes and concept cars. Jaguar’s Project 7 continues the trend, making its dynamic debut at the Festival, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary on 12 July.
The Project 7 is based on the F-Type, but is more focused as a driver’s car, featuring a raft of visual changes to emphasise the car’s link with its maker’s competition history, and is so-called because Jaguar won Le Mans seven times. The rumour mill in the run-up to the Festival of Speed had gone into overdrive, speculating that the coupe version of the F-Type would make its debut, but a fascinating performance concept will roar up the hill instead.
It’s a handsome car – the main changes over the F-Type are its Porsche 911 Speedster-style fairing behind the driver’s head and a number of bespoke carbonfibre components – a new front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser; lowered windscreen and restyled front bumper. Inside, it’s distinguished by a composite single-seat and racing harness.
Project 7 went from being an experimental sketch by Jaguar Designer Cesar Pieri to the track in just four months. Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, said: ‘When I saw this sketch of a low-screen, single-seat F-Type, I felt enthused by it and wanted to take it further. 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.’
Powering it is a tweaked version of Jaguar’s vocal 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine in 545bhp form. That should give the Project 7 a useful boost over the V8 S it’s based upon. One thing we do know is that it’s going to sound good – Project 7 features a free-flow exhaust system with a ceramic finish. We’ll have to wait and see how well it drives, but JLR’s feted chassis guru Mike Cross is confident: ‘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.‘
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.