Jaguar goes rallying

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CAPTION STRIKING: The F-Type rally cars have eye-catching looks Credit: Jaguar

IT has been 70 years since the Jaguar XK 120 sports car was unveiled in 1948, and to celebrate the manufacturer has developed two F-Type Convertible rally cars.

They are certainly an eye-catching design, making them two of the most unusual looking caes on the rally scene.

The one-off cars are meant to pay homage to the legendary Jaguar XK120 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.

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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.

Both rally-specification F-Type Convertiblesare powered by Jaguar’s 300PS 2.0-litre Ingenium four-cylinder petrol engine.

With modifications overseen by Jaguar Design and Engineering, both carswere 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 Directorof 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, including the latest F-TYPE Chequered Flag Limited Edition.”

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 softersprings 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 hydraulichandbrake 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.

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