Jaguar’s Project 7 design study ready for public unveiling at Goodwood Festival of Speed

As anticipation for this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed hots up, Jaguar has released images of its design study based on the F-type, the Project 7, which will be making its bow at the annual automotive gathering.

Breeding speculation that Jaguar is planning a more extreme version for the well-received F-type, the Project 7 draws inspiration from the firm’s legendary Le Mans racer, the D-type, and comes with similarly evocative styling, as well as a fettled engine.

The anticipated hardcore F-type is expected to give about 650bhp and potentially have four-wheel drive, and Jaguar’s Project 7 has already started to make the jump in power. The one-off, named after the amount of Le Mans wins for the company, features a 542bhp version of the supercharged 5.0-litre engine that also offers 501lb ft of torque. That’s 54bhp and 41lb ft more than the range-topping F-type V8 S.

Jaguar design supremo, Ian Callum, drove the Project 7 into creation and believes the car is a perfect example of Jaguar’s mantra of an ultimate sports car.

Callum said: “Project 7 has 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.”

Visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be able to see Jaguar’s lead development driver, Mike Cross, take the Project 7 up the hill. Cross said of the car: “Project 7 has given us the opportunity to go a little bit further. It is visceral in every sense — in its response, its sound and its sheer performance.”

The key influences from the D-type can be seen in the fairing behind the driver’s head and the blue paint scheme, synonymous of the Le Mans legend in 1956 and ‘57. Meanwhile, a carbonfibre front splitter; side skirts; rear diffuser; fixed rear wing; a lowered windscreen and a restyled front bumper all make the Project 7 bespoke from the standard F-type.

The Project 7 will certainly steal some of Porsche’s thunder at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, as the German manufacturer celebrates the 50th anniversary of its iconic 911, this year’s main theme. At 2011’s FOS, Jaguar marked 50 years since the unveiling of the infamous E-type, which is sharing its official birthday with the 911 this year.