Car Culture

Jaguar's one-off F-Type rally car is the gnarliest kind of homage

This new dirt-pounder pays respect to the XK 120, itself a rally champ.

Jaguar

The Jaguar F-Type exudes effortless cool, but you know what would make it even better? Jaguar knows the answer -- turning it into a rally car, of course.

Jaguar on Monday unveiled the F-Type rally car. Now, these won't be going into service anywhere, as they're just one-off prototypes built to honor the old-school Jaguar XK 120, which competed in and won various rallies in its time. Since the XK 120 turns 70 this year, Jaguar saw fit to build a couple F-Types in its honor.

These cars are more than just F-Types with extra headlights. Under the body, Jaguar installed hand-built competition suspension components with softer springs that can handle abuse in the dirt. Motorsport-derived wheels and tires are built to handle atypical terrain, there's a limited-slip differential to help keep the power down and a hydraulic handbrake lets the driver fishtail the car at will. There's also a set of upgraded brakes and a roll cage to prioritize safety.

Under the hood, these Jaguar F-Type Convertibles are no different than what rolls out of the factory. Both cars sport the F-Type's base engine, a 2.0-liter I4 gas engine putting out a hair less than 300 horsepower.

The aesthetics are pretty straightforward for a rally car. The traditional light pod lives at the front of the hood, but otherwise, the car's design is actually borrowed from another F-Type special edition -- the F-Type Checkered Flag Limited Edition, which adds motorsport-themed livery inside and out. I think it's safe to say that Jaguar's pair of rally cars cost a fair bit more than the special edition's starting price of £62,335 (about $80,500).