Jaguar rallycar – F-TYPE going “off track” to celebrate 70th anniversary
The racing spirit at Jaguar still holds good and the brand celebrates the 70th anniversary with a one-off F-TYPE, paying tribute to the racing and rallying legacy of the victorious XK 120. It was in post-war Britain, at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show that Jaguar founder, Sir William Lyons, revealed the XK 120 sports car. This was the fastest production vehicle at the time and reaction to it was very positive, thanks to its striking design with swooping fenders and long flowing lines.
The XK 120 was successful on both the road and the race track, completing the gruelling Alpine Rally unpenalised three years running from 1950 in the hands of Ian Appleyard and wife Pat – the daughter of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons – for which they were awarded the coveted Coupé D’Or (Gold Cup). In 1951 the Appleyards and their XK 120 also won the 3,400km-long, pan-European Tulip Rally and the 1953 RAC Rally of Great Britain – the first time outright winners were declared.
Almost seven decades later, the one-off F-TYPE rally cars presented by Jaguar, pay homage to Appleyard’s legendary Jaguar XK 120 registered ‘NUB 120’.
Both rally-specification F-TYPE Convertibles are powered by Jaguar’s 300PS 2.0-litre Ingenium four-cylinder petrol engine. With modifications overseen by Jaguar Design and Engineering, both cars were 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.
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.
– IAN CALLUM , JAGUAR DIRECTOR OF DESIGN
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.
The rally cars’ livery takes design inspiration from the new F-TYPE Chequered Flag Limited Edition, which features a range of subtle exterior visual enhancements, including unique 20-inch Gloss Black wheels with a Diamond Turned finish and a Black Contrast roof on the Coupé. Inside, the luxurious Ebony Windsor Leather interior features Performance seats with embossed Chequered Flag headrests and a Dark Brushed Aluminium centre console trim finisher.
The Jaguar F-TYPE Chequered Flag Limited Edition is available from £62,335 and can be configured at www.jaguar.co.uk.