Jaguar unveils F-Type rally cars in 70th anniversary tribute
British carmaker’s XK120 dominated rallying following 1948 launch
Jaguar has created two rally versions of its F-Type Convertible to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the launch of the marque’s first sports car.
Based on the four-cylinder version of the sports car, the “bespoke” new models feature racing bucket seats, a roll cage, a fire extinguisher and bonnet-mounting spotlights for night racing, says Auto Express.
The rally machines get the same 2.0-litre engine as the road model, with the same 296bhp output, but are fitted with uprated suspension and better brakes for improved performance on muddy tracks.
The modifications meet the standards of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), the governing body behind motorsport series including Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Jaguar launched what it regards as its first true sports car, the XK120, in 1948. British driver Ian Appleyard raced an XK120 in rallying events throughout the early 1950s, taking victories in the UK’s RAC Rally and the Alpine Rally, in mainland Europe, reports Autocar.
To celebrate the iconic car’s birthday, Jaguar decided to “build a rallying version of its nearest present-day descendant as a sort of dust-kicking tribute”, the motoring magazine says.
Unfortunately for rally fans, the pair of F-Type Convertibles will not be available to purchase, and there is no word from the British carmaker of plans to enter them into competitive racing events, says Evo.
That’s a shame, adds the mag, which predicts that the new F-Types would be “spectacular, if not wildly successful”, on a rally stage.