Crazy Concept: Jaguar Project 7

By Michael Lockhart

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Hot on the trail of Aston Martin’s tantalizing CC100 Speedster Concept, Jaguar had a bit of fun last week at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed unveiling their latest design: the racing-style Project 7 Concept.

The Project 7 was based on the World Car Design of the Year–winning F-Type launched earlier this year. Legendary British Design Director Ian Callum certainly knows how to create a body that makes even our own Playmates (British racing) green with jealousy. Just ask 2013 Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun, who was recently handed a set of keys outside the Playboy Mansion.

{"pbembedwidget":"gallery","id":"14313","size":"large","alignment":"left"}The name Project 7 comes from Jaguar’s seven wins at Le Mans, from the 1951 win by Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead in a C-Type to the most recent trophy in 1990 awarded to John Nielsen, Price Cobb and Martin Brundle in an XJR-12. After almost 24 years out of the game, we’re hoping this little hot rod is just the creative flame Jag needs to get back out there.

Project 7 is an incredibly interesting car to study as it channels not just the underlying F-Type design but also the fairing of the old Jaguar D-Type, potentially an insight into where the company’s next production concept may be heading. An all-aluminum-bodied roadster, Project 7 is a racer’s dream car, from the bespoke carbon-fiber components to increase its aerodynamics to the single-seat cockpit designed for those who like to live the fast life but don’t like to share.

Under the hood, Project 7 features the premium 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that fuels many of Jaguar’s fastest R models, which produces a sizeable 550 horses of power and can go from zero to 60 mph in a little over four seconds. Any driver would be inclined to take this sexy demon to its top speed of 186 mph and keep it within eyeshot of that that red tick on the speedometer.

The mere mention of D-Type styling within Project 7 is a big deal for car fanatics, considering the push on the company for years to modernize the legendary E-Type which eventually landed us with the F-Type payoff. To integrate this into Project 7, Jaguar engineers axed the convertible roof system (something they are also doing with an F-Type Coupe, according to Motor Trend), making way for the rear fairing section behind the cockpit that features rollover hoops that accentuate a more muscular, powerful presence for the vehicle.

The carbon fiber elements across the splitters, skirts and spoiler draw heavily from Jaguar’s previous C-X16 sports concept, and the total package from windshield to fascia has been lowered 10 mm into a performance stance: incredibly sexy, but bold and aggressive.

Project 7 will most likely stay a concept until the F-Type warrants a special production edition of this caliber, so we’ll have to stay tuned to news from the Jag factory to hear this fully functional beast get taken out for a ride now and then. Our biggest hope is that Jaguar uses this as an opportunity to break back into racing, and like most things coming from them these days, we don’t think we’re going to be disappointed.


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