Watch - Jaguar Project 7 video and review

Limited edition F-Type showcases SVR's talents. Now updated with a video review.

Evo rating
Price
from £135,000
  • Unique styling matched by depth of engineering. Noise and drama.
  • Despite limited numbers the Project 7 is everyday useable… that’s great but perhaps a missed opportunity to create a truly extreme F-Type

What is it?

Project 7 is the new halo car for JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations department, the same people who recently gave us the XKR-S GT and the Range Rover Sport SVR. Based on an F-Type R convertible, Project 7 is lighter (by 45kg), more powerful (up to 567bhp from 542bhp), has a much more aggressive chassis set-up and is the first F-Type to produce proper downforce, too. Of course the styling calls to mind the gorgeous D-Type but this is very clearly more than an F-Type sprinkled with evocative details. Just 250 will be built and the price is circa £135,000. It’s already sold out and 80 will be delivered in the UK.

Technical highlights

SVO has been through pretty much every area of the F-Type R convertible to find more performance and sharper responses. The 5-litre V8 isn’t hugely different from the standard R but with a bit more boost from the supercharger Project 7 produces its 567bhp at 6500rpm and 502lb ft at 2500-5500rpm. It drives through the usual 8-speed ‘Quickshift’ automatic gearbox but with unique programming for faster shifts. The top speed is 186mph and 0-62mph comes up in 3.8-seconds. Project 7 is the most powerful Jaguar ever. 

However, it’s the chassis and aero where the real work has taken place. The suspension is heavily revised, with unique suspension knuckles to radically increase front camber (up to 1.5 deg from 0.5), the spring rate is up by 80-percent at the front, there are new top mounts, the spring platforms are height adjustable and Project 7 also gets bespoke anti-roll bars. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard as part of weight saving measures that also include unique lightweight seats unique; it weighs 1620kg. The standard 20-inch wheels come equipped with new Continental ContiForceContact tyres and Project 7 also uses torque-vectoring by braking.  

In terms of aero the large front splitter, rear venturi and fixed rear wing combine to reduce drag slightly over an F-Type when the is roof down but massively increases downforce – it’s up 177-percent at 186mph. The new EPAS system also has a unique calibration, as does the throttle (it’s more progressive than the F-Type R). In other words, it’s a proper job.

What’s it like to drive?

Very amusing. This car isn’t a complete step-change over the F-Type R but the sense of agility, mid-corner grip and traction are all improved, whilst the standard car’s sense of sheer fun has been preserved. I was worried that in searching for grip and lap time the easily manipulated balance might have been sacrificed, but Project 7 is still as exuberant a car as you could hope to find. 

First thing’s first, though. It might not have a roof (well, there is an occasional roof suitable for low speed driving) and hark back to racecars such as the D-Type, but Project 7 is very, very easy to drive and amazingly supple. In fact, in its standard set-up the ride is more compliant than the F-Type R but there’s a much more noticeable gap when you select Dynamic mode that gives the car a more aggressive feel. 

On smooth Spanish roads where we drove the car Project 7 is at its best in the more aggressive set-up. It still feels fluid and poised but there’s greater front-end response and the car seems to dig into the surface with more bite. The chassis also seems to give even more options. In the F-Type R the car seems to be either gripping or sliding dramatically into oversteer. That’s fun of course, but Project 7 hangs on much better mid-corner and allows you to shift its balance with more subtlety and greater control. It’s still a natural oversteerer but despite more grip I think it might be more fun on the road as you can be more precise as you tweak and play with its balance.  

The engine remains a mighty, mighty performer and the noise is almost comically OTT. It howls and crackles and booms on the overrun, and the noise and the swirling air just add to the sense of occasion. It really is an experience to make you smile. However, there are some disappointments. The F-Type has never been a great communicator through the steering and the new EPAS system remains accurate but slightly light on feel. Despite the chassis digging in you don’t feel much grit through the steering wheel and so using that extra grip is a matter of learning to trust the car rather than feeling everything that the treadblocks have to give. 

On the track the Project 7 is impressive up to a point. There’s greater turn-in agility, the car hangs on mid-corner with more control and you feel you can hustle it more without the grip just falling away… but it’s still a pretty hefty thing and even those grippy tyres can’t stop the car displaying time-sapping understeer and then big oversteer on corner exit. This is no GT3, that’s for sure.

Nevertheless, Project 7 is a seriously enjoyable car. At £135,00 it’s around £40,000 more than an F-Type R and has those lightweight seats and carbon-ceramics as standard. Then add in its limited build numbers and it almost looks quite cheap. For me Project 7 could go further still… More aggression, a still more focused set-up, but it’s certainly no pastiche. I hope any future F-Type SVR (just a guess, but surely a no-brainer) uses Project 7 as inspiration but pushes the car further and showcases SVR’s full potential. 

How does it compare?

Project 7 faces tough competition from a purely dynamic point of view. The AMG GT S has more grip, a more capable chassis and a similarly entertaining balance. Then there’s the gorgeous Aston V12 Vantage S Roadster and the ruthless, eye-poppingly capable 911 Turbo Cabriolet… But in reality the people buying it are collectors and that hardly seems to matter. They’ll be chuffed with its combination of rarity, drama and usability.

Anything else I need to know?

The US-bound Project 7s do without the cut-down windscreen and lightweight seats as side airbags are a necessity. Oh and Project 7 does a 7:35 around the Nürburgring.

Video

Specifications

EngineV8, 5000cc, supercharger
Power567bhp @ 6500rpm
Torque502lb ft at 2500-5500rpm
0-62mph3.8-seconds
Top speed186mph
On saleNow

Most Popular

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn
MAT Stratos – front tracking
Lancia

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn

It’s been a long time coming, but this Ferrari F430-based reimagining of the Lancia Stratos is finally here
11 Jun 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers

The long-awaited Tesla Model S Plaid has finally come to fruition, with first US examples hitting the road
11 Jun 2021
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?
Audi RS3 manufacturer spy 1
Audi RS3

2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?

Audi Sport is putting the final touches on its new RS3 hot hatch and saloon
10 Jun 2021
2021 Maserati GranTurismo to go EV-only – IC option ditched
2021 Maserati GranTurismo spy – track
Maserati

2021 Maserati GranTurismo to go EV-only – IC option ditched

GranTurismo coupe and its soft-top GranCabrio sibling to be reborn later this year, but controversially without the proposed combustion alternative...…
11 Jun 2021
Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder
Posaidon Mercedes-AMG E63
Mercedes E63 AMG

Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder

Three new Posaidon power upgrades are now available for Mercedes-AMG’s E63 S, bringing hypercar numbers to the four door supersaloon
9 Jun 2021
Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement mule spied – will it emulate the McLaren Artura?
Ferrari F171 spy 2021 – front
Ferrari

Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement mule spied – will it emulate the McLaren Artura?

Ferrari’s going hybrid and V6 for its next mid-engined supercar
9 Jun 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals 11 June 21
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
11 Jun 2021
Cheap fast cars 2021 – the best budget performance cars on the market
Cheap fast cars 2021
used cars

Cheap fast cars 2021 – the best budget performance cars on the market

If you buy right and do your research, the cheap fast car is a wonderful thing. Here are our top picks between £1000 and £10,000
25 May 2021
HKS in development of a supercharger kit for new 2021 Toyota GR 86
HKS Toyota GR 86
Toyota

HKS in development of a supercharger kit for new 2021 Toyota GR 86

Japanese tuner HKS is in development of a supercharger upgrade package for the new GR 86
9 Jun 2021
2021 Alpina XD3 and XD4 update revealed – extra torque from Alpine’s quad-turbo diesel SUV
Alpina XD3 and XD4 2021 – header
Alpina XD3

2021 Alpina XD3 and XD4 update revealed – extra torque from Alpine’s quad-turbo diesel SUV

The updates to the Alpina XD3 and XD4 are largely of the aesthetic kind, but more torque and new chassis calibrations are also part of the package
10 Jun 2021
2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition pricing announced
2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competitions
BMW

2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition pricing announced

Engine upgrades, a chassis recalibration and some striking new visuals for BMW’s hot midsize SUVs
11 Jun 2021
Best small cars 2021 – pocket rockets reviewed and rated
Best small cars 2021
Best cars

Best small cars 2021 – pocket rockets reviewed and rated

You don’t need 200bhp or more in a small hatchback to have fun – these ‘warm’ small cars are the proof
7 Jun 2021
The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is an 818bhp track-only hypercar
Lamborghini SCV12
Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is an 818bhp track-only hypercar

Lamborghini Squadra Corse is taking the V12 to the racetrack with the limited-run Essenza SCV12
9 Jun 2021
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost review
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost
Rolls-Royce Ghost

2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost review

Latest Ghost gets a new platform, four-wheel steering and fresh looks, and continues to set the luxury saloon bar
5 Jun 2021