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Jaguar Project 7 commemorates Le Mans glories

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This is a Jaguar F-Type, but not as you know it.

It is a Jaguar F-Type through the lens of Le Mans excellence; a concept car built to showcase Jaguar's winning ways at the greatest endurance race on the planet.

It's called the Project 7, and will make its worldwide debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The name? It's a reminder of how many times Jaguar has taken overall victory at La Sarthe, thanks to racers including Duncan Hamilton, Mike Hawthorn, Andy Wallace and Martin Brundle.

It started off as a thought experiment by Jaguar designer Cesar Pieri, who decided to combine his love of motorsport with the F-Type's curvaceous lines. "When I saw this design," says Jag design director Ian Callum, "I felt enthused by it."

With Callum's thumbs-up, the car went from sketch to digital render, to clay model, to fully functioning V8 monster in just four months. Underneath it's all F-Type, but the entire roof system was binned, and you'll notice the new rear fairing section, inspired by the Le Mans-winning D-Type, complete with a rollover hoop.

Oh, and as for that V8 monster bit, the Project 7 gets Jag's lovely 542bhp supercharged V8 – some 50bhp more powerful than the range-topping F-Type V8 S (and possibly an indication of the F-Type R) – here good for a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds (0.1s quicker than the V8 S), a 50-75mph time of 2.4s and an electronically limited top speed of 186mph. There's a lovely great lump of torque, too – 502lb-ft of the stuff.

Outside, there's a carbon-fibre front splitter, CF side louvres and bonnet vent, CF and aluminium wing mirrors – like in the C-X16 concept – side skirts, a large rear diffuser and a fixed rear spoiler with a 14-degree angle of attack.

The windscreen is lower, too, with a new nose featuring revised air intakes. The 7 gets 20in forged alloy wheels named “Blade”, while inside, there's one single composite bucket seat – lowered by 30mm – a four-point racing harness, a helmet holder in place of the passenger seat, and of course, a custom helmet to go there.

"It's just full of desire," says Callum. "You can see that its sole purpose is to be enjoyed. It's pure Jaguar."

It'll be on display from 12 July through to 14 July at Goodwood, alongside the XJR, XFR-S and XKR-S GT.

This story originally appeared on TopGear.com.

Our colleagues at BBC Culture look back at the classic D-Type, “a wonder of style and engineering”. Read their report here.