After years of stagnancy, Jaguar has recently been producing some stunning cars. The XFR-S brought lavish attention, as did the XKR-S GT and XJR, to a lesser degree. But it's the British brand's F-Type that rightly garnered the limelight, becoming the first two-seater sports car from the pouncing cat since the historic E-Type.
The F-Type's acclaimed design brought inspiration to a new concept debuting at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 12. It's called Project 7, named after Jag's seven wins at Le Mans between 1951-1990 – a record for a British manufacturer. Led by design guru Ian Callum, it's a single-seater sports car offering hints of the old D-Type. And it's beautiful.
Cues from the D-Type are evident, starting with the faring behind the driver's head and the blue paintwork stemming back to the D's 24 Hour victories in 1956 and '57. The car comes with no roof (hope it doesn't rain in Goodwood) and a fixed rear wing. It's also been lowered 10 mm and receives suspension tweaks; it sports carbon-fiber splitters and hood vents, as well as a lowered windshield. Frankly, it's how the Aston Martin CC100 Concept should have looked; beautiful and refined, rather than like a hungry catfish.
The passenger seat has become a helmet holder, carrying a custom-designed Project 7 helmet in matching blue paint. The driver sits in a bucket seat that's 30 mm lower, with a four-point harness keeping them strapped down. Power? Well, it retains the car's 550 hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, which is plenty punchy, sprinting to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds while meshing to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Project 7 remains merely a one-off design study, and went from paper to pavement in just four months. Despite being a concept, it's further evidence of Jaguar's march back into the spotlight.