To help celebrate 70 years of building sports cars, Jaguar has built some rally-ready F-Types. In the best body shape for rally of all: The convertible. And there's a new special edition F-Type for the road coming too.
It starts with a rear-drive 2.0L turbo F-Type. That's the 300 hp spec. And if you're wondering why they picked rear-drive cars for the dirt instead of all-wheel drive options, it's history. The cars are paying homage to an XK 120 that was a rally star in the 1950s. The car, with driver Ian Appleyard behind the wheel, is one of just five to win the Coupe d'Or in the prestigious Alpine Rally. That means three-years consecutively with no penalty points taken.
Upgrades to the cars for rally spec include grooved disc brakes with four-piston callipers at each corner. The suspension gets hand-built competition dampers and softer springs. Softer is better than stiff on the dirt, after all. The dampers are three-way adjustable for different surfaces.
There's a limited-slip differential in the rear helping keep the Jag moving forward, and it uses motorsport-spec gravel tires and wheels.
The cars are more than just for show. Well, maybe they're mostly for show, but they've been built to handle real rally work. Jaguar says the cars, including the roll cages, were built to FIA specification. That includes race seats, six-point harnesses, fire extinguisher, and that sweet, sweet light pod on the hood.
Jaguar might not take these cars to an official rally, but they put them through their paces at the Walters Arena rally stage in Wales. The cars will travel around to various Jaguar events in the next few months.
The paint scheme on the rally racers takes inspiration from a 70th celebration that is more suited for paved roads. The F-Type Chequered Flag Limited Edition.
The F-Type Chequered Flag will come with a host of interior and exterior features to set it apart from other F-Types. It starts with the black roof and 20-inch black wheels with a diamond-turned finish.
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Interior changes include an ebony suede headliner. The sports seats are Windsor Leather with a chequered flag embossing in the headrest. That's the pattern the rally paint comes from. The car also gets chequered flat badging on the door sills and center console trim. It also brings a Touch Pro infotainment system that adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto the F-type for the first time.
The Chequered Flag pack is available on R-Dynamic cars, with either the 300 hp 2.0L turbo four or the 340 and 380 hp supercharged 3.0L V6 engines. Jaguar has given them some SVR-inspired new dampers that reduce stiffness 24 percent at low damping velocities, something the company says improves low-speed ride comfort.
The Chequered Flag Limited Edition is expected to arrive at dealers here in the Spring, with pricing to follow.