Jaguar Project 7 gives the F-TYPE that Le Mans winning feeling (w/VIDEO)

Project 7 is a brand new design study based on Jaguar’s all-new two-seater convertible, powered by a 542bhp supercharged version of the 5.0-litre engine found in the F-TYPE V8 S.

The ‘Project 7’ name acknowledges the seven times Jaguar has won Le Mans between 1951-1990 (a record for a British manufacturer) and its blue paintwork is reminiscent of the victorious Jaguar D-types of 1956/1957.

“It’s a single-seater sports car based on the F-TYPE, with the kind of racing-inspired form that designers dream about. It has one purpose: to be driven fast and enjoyed,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design.

The project came about when Jaguar designer Cesar Pieri sketched his vision of the F-TYPE with a swooping profile, cut-down windscreen and race-inspired livery. It blends his love of motorsport with his passion for Jaguar’s heritage and Callum “felt enthused” the moment he saw it.

The idea went from experimental sketch to the track in just four months.

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It’s single-seater cockpit was inspired by the D-type and features a rear fairing section that incorporates a rollover hoop and swoops down from behind the driver’s head. The roof system has been completely removed.

If you look carefully, you may even see a D-type in the film…

Exterior changes continue with a carbon-fibre front splitter, side skirts, side louvres, large rear diffuser and a fixed rear spoiler – with a 14-degree angle of attack. Aluminium and carbon-fibre wing mirrors draw inspiration from the C-X16 concept, from which the 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.

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The ‘Project 7′ gets 20-inch Blade forged alloy wheels, while inside, there’s a single composite bucket seat – lowered by 30mm – four-point racing harness, and a helmet holder in place of the passenger seat with its own custom-designed Project 7 helmet in matching blue paint.

The seat and the insides of the doors are finished in a quilted racing-style diamond pattern, while carbon-fibre inserts feature on the console and SportShift lever, with the start-stop button in gloss black and the steering wheel paddles machined from aluminium.

With an F-TYPE ‘R’ in development, Project 7 has acted as a test mule, featuring the same 542bhp supercharged V8 engine as the XFR-S, XJR and XKR-S GT. With an increase of 50bhp and 55Nm over the F-TYPE V8 S, performance is more than adequate – covering the 0-62mph sprint in 4.2 seconds, 50-75mph in 2.4 seconds and reaching an electronically limited top speed of 186mph.

It sounds pretty good too – featuring a free-flow exhaust system with a ceramic finish. Other racer-inspired changes include a 10mm lower ride height and unique spring/damper tuning.

Project 7 will be in action on the Goodwood hill over all three days of the Festival of Speed, driven by Jaguar’s Mike Cross.