After a brief quiet spell on the international auto event front, next week's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance promises to reinvigorate the four-wheeled excitement. Jaguar has a particularly interesting lineup for this year's festivities, headlined by the world premiere of the new Lightweight E-type prototype. That brand-new-but-old beauty will share the spotlight with the US-spec F-Type Project 7, along with the Range Rover Sport SVR from sibling Land Rover.
In one of the more interesting automotive headlines of the year, Jaguar announced back in May that it planned to restart production on the Lightweight E-type – 50 years after stopping it. Between 1963 and 1964, Jaguar produced the stripped down E-type as a limited-edition version of the legendary E-type aimed at racing enthusiasts, building only 12 out of a planned 18 models. It took half a century, but it is finally building the other half-dozen.
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With only six models to be had, many Concours d'Elegance's attendees will be out of luck in terms of reserving one, no matter how well-heeled and connected they are. Demand undoubtedly far surpasses supply, and Jaguar should get a pretty penny for each of the six models. It said back in May that established Jaguar collectors with historic race car interests would get first crack. At the least, next week's global premiere will give car collectors (and internet bystanders) the opportunity to see a brand-new Lightweight E-type for the first time in 50 years.
The new Lightweight E-types will be perfect reproductions of the originals, right down to the chassis numbers that were allocated back in 1963. Each model will be powered by a 3.8-liter straight-six engine and include an aluminum monocoque.
A little over a month after announcing its Lightweight E-type production plans, Jaguar green-lighted another limited-edition car of E-type lineage, the all-new F-Type Project 7. Originally prepared for the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Project 7 is a souped-up special edition built on modern Jaguar design and engineering, with a bit of retro-inspired flair.
In taking the car from concept to reality, Jaguar added power and performance, declaring the the car "fastest and most powerful production Jaguar ever built." The European version features a 575-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that gets up for a 3.9-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) sprint and a 186-mph (300 km/h) top speed. The F-Type's aluminum body is dressed with several bespoke carbon fiber aerodynamics aids, including a front splitter and adjustable rear spoiler.
The all-new F-Type Project 7 made its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June and its dynamic debut at the Le Mans Classic in July. Jaguar will show the US-spec version of the car for the first time in Pebble Beach. The car's exterior and interior specifications will differ from those of the European version. The British marque plans to build up to 250 Project 7 models – presumably in less than 50 years – starting deliveries in mid-2015.
The Lightweight E-Type reproduction and the F-Type Project 7 are both products of the recently launched Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations division. Special Ops has one more trick up its sleeve for Concours, only it's not a Jaguar. The 550-hp Range Rover Sport SVR, which just earned itself 8:14 Nürburgring bragging rights, will also make a debut at the show.
Jaguar Land Rover will get the big weekend started in style, showing all three aforementioned vehicles at the Thursday night Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Kick-Off Party that it's hosting on August 14.
Source: Jaguar Land RoverView gallery - 18 images