The first car produced by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division, Project 7 was a heavily modified F-Type using the same 567bhp supercharged V8 now available in the ‘regular’ F-Type SVR.
All of the 250 Project 7s sold out and second-hand values have recently started to rise beyond the original £135,000 price. Now senior Jaguar officials say that early discussions have taken place about how the company could build a successor.
When asked if Jaguar would consider custom-bodied cars in future, design director Ian Callum said: “We’ve thought about it. We’ve started asking, ‘What do we do after Project 7?’, because I’d like to take it a step further. And that means making it more of an individual car than an F-Type.
“But the business case is hugely difficult,” he added. “What can you charge for it?What do you charge for a Jaguar? How far can it go? With a supercar like the C-X75, you could probably go to £1million, but with a limited number of, say, 200 cars. And even that, as a business case, was pushing it. So if you’re going to get into the realms of something that’s a modified F-Type, it’s very difficult.”
John Edwards, boss of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, said the success of Project 7 had taken management by surprise. “We said we’d build 250 examples of Project 7, and within the business there was quite a lot of nervousness about that,”
“We kind of plucked that number out of thin air, really. I personally had to guarantee we’d sell 250; as it turned out, we could have sold 500.” Edwards stated he’d “made a conscious decision” to make SVR performance Jaguars four-wheel drive – potentially leaving space for more extreme rear-drive editions like the Project 7.
However, he indicated that SVO would focus on production runs of cars, rather than exclusive bespoke one-offs. “Custom bodies are not our plan; we want to push the cosmetics of the car to the limit, not re-engineer the car as some others have done,” Edwards said.