Jaguar F-Type rally car revealed
There’s more than one way to skid a cat.
Jaguar has unleashed two rally-ready F-Type convertibles which loosely pay homage to the marque's 1948 XK120 and the latest F-Type Chequered Flag limited edition model, announced last month and that forms part of the leaping cat's 70 years of sports cars celebrations.
The brand says its heritage began when the XK120 was unveiled at the London Motor Show seven decades ago. Shortly after its appearance British rally car driver Ian Appleyard drove the roadster in a number of rallies, clocking up victories at the RAC Rally in 1951 and 1953, the Tulip Rally in 1951 and receiving the Coupe d'Or for an unpenalised drive at the 1952 Alpine Rally.
Many years later and Jaguar has converted two drop-top F-Types which conform to FIA-specifications, powered by a 221kW, 400Nm four-cylinder turbo petrol Ingenium drivetrain.
Modifications were performed by Jaguar Design and Engineering in Britain and include uprated brakes with grooved discs and four-piston callipers, hand-built three-way adjustable spherical bearing dampers for leaping over jumps, gravel-spec tyres on motorsport alloy wheels, a limited-slip differential in the rear and a four-light bonnet-mount pod for night stages.
Inside are an FIA-compliant rollcage with race-seats and six-point harness, fire extinguisher, and obligatory hydraulic handbrake for when the pace notes read: “Caution, snappy road over bump into hairpin right!”
The whole kit is finished in a chequered flag livery that ties in with the new F-Type Chequered Flag limited edition model.
As rally-ready as it is, the dirty duo has only dabbled on the Walters Arena rally stage in South Wales and there are no plans to homologate the model for competition, though they will make appearances at Jaguar events.
Jaguar design director Ian Callum further added that the concept does not pave the way for more rally cars from the brand.
“We’re not going to replicate it again, it’s a bit of fun,” Callum said. “It shows what we can do, that’s it, a one-off.”
“The opportunity to design a rally car doesn’t come along very often so I was fascinated to see how we could take our modern day sports car to a similar character. These models are a fitting tribute to the XK 120 and all the great Jaguar sports cars since its reveal 70 years ago, including the latest F-TYPE Chequered Flag Limited Edition.
Watch the F-Type rally car in action below:
Alex Rae is Drive’s Melbourne based reporter with over 10 years’ experience in the automotive industry as a photographer and journalist. Having studied both engineering and the arts, Alex understands what makes things tick while appreciating that sometimes it’s all about form over matter…