Jaguar has turned its sleek F-Type sports car into a gravel-chewing rally car as part of its celebration of 70 years of sports car heritage.
Two F-Type rally cars were developed by the firm’s engineers to mark the anniversary of the reveal of the XK 120.
The rally cars also pay homage to the legendary Jaguar XK 120 registered ‘NUB 120’ which, in the early 1950s in the hands of Ian Appleyard, completed three consecutive Alpine Rallies without incurring a single penalty point, and won the RAC and Tulip rallies.
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Both rally-specification F-Type convertibles are powered by Jaguar’s 296bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine and built to FIA specification, with comprehensively uprated brakes and suspension fitted alongside a protective rollcage, race-seats with six-point harness, bonnet-mounted light pod and fire extinguisher.
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, said: “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.”
The rally F-TYPEs feature upgrades to the brakes, suspension and drivetrain including the addition of grooved discs with four-piston calipers front and rear. Hand-built competition dampers and softer springs ensure the high performance cars can be driven flat-out over rough rally stages. Three-way adjustable dampers allow the cars to be tuned for different surfaces and feature spherical bearings for added precision. With motorsport-spec wheels and tyres specifically for use on gravel, a limited-slip differential improves power delivery on loose surfaces while a hydraulic handbrake helps drivers tackle hairpin bends.
The celebratory models were put through their paces at Walters Arena rally stage, South Wales, to demonstrate their performance credentials and will now attend a series of Jaguar events over the next few months.