Jaguar’s Project 7 concept will make its dynamic debut at Goodwood on 12th July. Project 7 is based on Jaguar’s all-new, two-seater convertible F-TYPE, which recently won 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. The Project 7’s interior features a composite single-seat with racing harness, a helmet holder and custom trim. The concept’s name, meanwhile, 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 sports car. The F-TYPE’s all-aluminium architecture provides the starting point, with 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,” says 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.
Under Director of Design, Ian Callum, Project 7 went from being an experimental sketch by Jaguar designer Cesar Pieri to the track in only four months.
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,” explains Ian Callum.
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 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.
On the inside, 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,” adds Ian Callum.