Following the early release of several leaked images, Jaguar has officially unveiled the sleek and stylish Project 7 design study concept which will make its debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival Of Speed this weekend. Named after the seven victories the company has achieved at the 24hr of Le Mans, Project 7 was designed to serve as a visual tribute to the company’s successes on the racetrack and should please Goodwood attendees at the same time. The exterior styling of the concept is largely based on the F-type roadster, but Jaguar designers have made several retro inspired changes to make the car a modern iteration of the legendary D-Type race car which won the grueling 24 hrs of Le Mans race three consecutive times in 1955, 1956, and 1957. This is especially apparent in the rear fascia which features a D-type style integrated roll hoop that replaces the heavy folding convertible top that is standard issue on other F-types. The windshield of the concept has also been lowered when compared to its mainstream cousins and allows the vehicle to achieve a slightly more rakish profile, while splashes of carbon fiber on the 20 inch forged alloy wheels and select parts of the bodywork trim even more weight, and also provide a stylish contrast to the car’s gorgeous blue paint.
The interior of Project 7 continues the race inspired theme and features several revisions that make this special breed of feline the perfect companion for drivers that choose to take it to the racetrack while continuing to offer the world class luxury Jaguar is known for. Carbon fiber accenting scattered throughout the cabin continues the race inspired theme, while the supportive drivers seat is adorned with diamond quilted leather and a four point race harness to keep the occupant in place during spirited driving. Passengers looking to ride shotgun will be disappointed to hear that Jaguar engineers have replaced that throne with a built in helmet holder which houses a specially crafted Project 7 racing helmet. The car’s suspension has also been lowered by 10 mm which should enhance the car’s handling behavior.
To make sure that the Project 7 concept could live up to its race inspired styling, Jaguar engineers retained the 5.0 liter supercharged V8 that also see’s duty in the F-Type V8 S, but power has increased slightly to 550 horsepower with all of this muscle channeled to the rear wheels through an eight speed automatic transmission. The company claims that this potent combo allows Project 7 to make the sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 4.1 seconds before reaching a final top speed of 186 mph. “Project 7 is a single-seat sports car based on the F-TYPE” stated designer Ian Callum, “with the kind of racing-inspired form that designers dream about. It has one purpose: to be driven fast and enjoyed. Jaguar sports cars are known for exceptional performance and clean design. Project 7 captures that spirit in its purest form.”
While the chances of the Project 7 concept making it to production in it current form are slim at best, look for some elements of the concept (especially the 550 horsepower version of the 5.0 liter V8) to slowly trickle down to the F-Type and other future models in the near future. In the meantime Jaguar has released a brief video of Project 7 in action which can be seen below.