One of the most eagerly awaited events to take place in conjunction with this week's festivities in Pebble Beach was the full reveal of a U.S.-spec version of the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Project 7. Originally seen as the Project 7 Concept at last year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, a right-hand-drive street-legal version returned there last month in Euro trim along with word that the newly formed Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations team would build 250 copies of this competition-themed stunner for the global market. Delivery of the first customer copies won't begin until next spring and it's still not certain exactly how many will end up in America. However, Jaguar has confirmed that the car will have a base starting price of $125,965 here. All we can add is our best wishes for finding one at that figure, you'll definitely need it.
A competitive spirit fortified with 575 horsepower
Inspired by the iconic Jaguar D-Type, which turns 60 this year, this 2-seat roadster was named to honor the marque's seven wins at Le Mans. Based on the aluminum-intensive F-Type, the Project 7 is powered by a 575-horse version of the automaker's 5.0-liter supercharged V8 making it the most potent production Jaguar ever built. The engine is backed by a more efficient paddle-shiftable version of Jag's 8-speed Quickshift automatic transmission and ships its motive force to the rear wheels through a Gen II Electronic Active Differential. That combination will send the Project 7 streaking from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.
The racing beat goes on in the suspension of this exclusive ultra-Jag, which features numerous dedicated basic chassis components. Project 7-specific calibration for the F-Type's Adaptive Damping and Dynamic Stability Control systems can be selected via the car's 8.0-inch central touchscreen and both are fully integrated with the Dynamic Mode setting and Torque Vectoring by Braking to maximize the car's traction, cornering agility and steering feel. The comprehensive Project 7 remix also brings Jaguar's superb Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes.
Bespoke beauty on every level
Save for transitioning to left-hand drive and swapping its cut-down windscreen for a full-height windshield that meets federal safety requirements, the U.S. variation on the Project 7 theme is virtually identical to its Euro sibling. Hand-formed alloy body panels are matched with various mass-reducing/aero-enhancing carbon fiber elements including an extended front splitter, side skirts/vents, rear diffuser and adjustable rear spoiler. Rounding out the mix are Gloss black, staggered-width Storm alloy wheels paired with 255/35-front and 295/30-rear performance rubber.
Should rain have the audacity to fall while you're out motoring in the Project 7, a custom Bimini soft top folds in the trunk and can be quickly clipped into place. The car will be available in two standard colors: Glacier White (seen here) and the original Ultra Blue metallic used on the Goodwood car which is the signature hue of the Jaguar Land Rover SVO team. However, three other colors -- British Racing Green, Ultimate Black and Caldera Red -- will be optional.
Finally, while performance is its forte, the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Project 7 in no way lacks for creature comforts. Highlighting the hand-finished cabin are power-activated and deeply bolstered lightweight carbon fiber seats covered in rich diamond-quilted leather. Also present are all of the upline touches found in a primo F-Type along with distinctive carbon fiber accent trim and a commemorative plaque between the seats featuring the signature of designer Ian Callum.
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