Jaguar Land Rover are clearly keen to reinforce their status as a high end manufacturer with the announcements of Special Vehicle Operations and a relaunched Heritage division.
Special Vehicle Operations
Special Vehicles Operations will be responsible for extreme luxury and high performance models and bespoke commissions, replacing the previous Engineered To Order team. The first car to be created by the division will be a Project 7 version of the Jaguar F-Type Roadster. Closely based on the concept car unveiled in 2013, the Project 7 will be produced in a limited run of 250 hand built cars.
The Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will be the fastest Jaguar production car ever built. The design concentrates on performance making it the most focussed F-Type yet. Power comes from a 575 ps (567 bhp) and 680 Nm 502 lb ft supercharged version of the 5 litre V8 engine. Acceleration from 0-60mph comes in just 3.8-seconds (0-100km/h in 3.9-seconds) and the electronically-limited top speed is set to 186mph (300km/h).
There will be no mistaking the Project 7 on the road thanks to distinctive graphics including number circles on the doors and a stripe across the front of the car. It also has a speedser-like cut-down windscreen to reduce drag and gloss black 20 inch alloy wheels at each corner.
Weight savings that aid performance include carbon fibre seats and removal of the heavy roof mechanism which is replaced by a temporary fabric roof that clips into place by hand. Suspension is tuned for ultimate handling and efficiency while the bodywork has added carbon fibre aerodynamic features including an enlarged front splitter and rear wing as well as a classic racing inspired fairing behind the driver which hides a roll-over bar. The design is said to reflect the classic D-Type racing car which celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year.
The Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will be offered globally with a slightly different specification for the US market to be revealed later this summer.
Also within Special Operations’ territory is the Heritage. While Jaguar Heritage have long maintained and displayed a range of important classics from the marque they are now expanding the service to customers as well. This also means that classic Land Rovers will also be included.
The first Heritage division project will be to build six continuation Lightweight E-types at the historic Browns Lane site. The new cars will be hand built to the exact specifications of the original 12 and will complete the the 1963 build plan of 18 cars. The Jaguar E-type Lightweight are famed for their performance and their efforts to tackle the invisible Ferrari 250 GTO in long distance races. The original E-type Lightweights such as the one pictured above (courtesy of H&H Classic Car Auctions) are highly sought after and fetch very high prices at auction.
The cars will be sold to enthusiasts and collectors and Jaguar have noted a preference to sell to those who intend to enter the cars in racing and rally events. The first of the six will be revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours in California in August. Customers should expect a seven figure price tag.
The Heritage Division will also cater for servicing, repairs and restorations of the brands classic cars. Jaguar have declared that they will be keeping to standard specifications for which certification will be provided.
Jaguar Land Rover have shown clear signs of an intention to challenge luxury car brands such as Bentley and Aston Martin as well as the broader premium market. These latest step reinforce this move and set the group up for further steps into this market in the future.