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2013-07-15 10:40

A TRIBUTE TO A RACING ICON: Jaguar’s Project 7, based on the new F-Type, is a great tribute to the automaker’s iconic D-Type racer.Image: Jaguar

The Jaguar D-Type is regarded as one of the most beautiful and valuable sports car, and in honour of the legendary car, which won Le Mans in 1956 and 1957, the automaker has unveiled a stunning new concept – Project 7.

The single-seat car, based on the new F-Type, went, incredibly, from sketchpad to track in only four months. The concept's name is derived from Jaguar's seven Le Mans victories between 1951 and 1990.

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Engineers have modified the bodywork, giving it a several lightweight and aerodynamic adjustments, including a fairing behind the driver - a famous feature on the iconic D-Type.

‘TO BE DRIVEN FAST AND ENJOYED’

Project 7 shares the D-Types' paint job and the passenger seat has been removed and replaced with a special space for the driver's helmet. The model has 20" alloys fitted to Pirelli P Zero tyres 255/30/20 (front) and 295/30/20 (rear).

The car is powered by a 5.0 supercharged V8 capable of 405kW/680Nm mated to an eight-speed gearbox. The V8 enables the car to rocket from 0-100km/h in 4.1sec to a limited top speed of 300km/h.

Jaguar design boss Ian Callum, the man behind some of the greatest modern British cars, describes Project 7 as "the kind of racing-inspired form that designers dream about".

Callum said: "It has one purpose and that's 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."

‘IT'S VISCERAL IN EVERY SENSE’

Project 7, a concept for now, had its debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex over July 12 - 14 2013. It started as an experimental sketch by designer Cesar Pieri but Callum cleared it to go further and Mike Cross, chief engineer at Jaguar, drove it at Goodwood.

Cross said: "The overriding dynamic aim when developing the F-Type was ensuring a 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. When you look at this car, it has an enormous amount of appeal. It's just full of desire - you can see its sole purpose is to be enjoyed.

"Project 7 is a very special car - not just because it's a one-off but also because of its purity of purpose. It's pure Jaguar."

Watch Mike Hawthorn drive the Jaguar D-Type at Le Mans 1956!
 
Jaguar's seven Le Mans victories:

1951    C-type    Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead
1953    C-type    Tony Rolt, Duncan Hamilton
1955    D-type    Mike Hawthorn, Ivor Bueb
1956    D-type    Ron Flockhart, Ninian Sanderson
1957    D-type    Ron Flockhart, Ivor Bueb
1988    XJR-9LM    Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries, Andy Wallace
1990    XJR-12    John Nielsen, Price Cobb, Martin Brundle

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