There isn't really a louder car on the road than the Jaguar F-Type V8S. It's so loud you might almost think it's broken. The Project 7, which is based on the V8S, is tuned to be even louder on purpose. This is Jag at its best.
(Full Disclosure: Jaguar wanted me to drive the Project 7 so bad that they invited me to drive around a gated community in Monterey in a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side. My drive was delayed because a denim enthusiast/late night host drove the car for a while and set the whole day back.)
Jaguar has never really been known as a brand with a sense of humor. They've had uptight, classic-looking cars for uptight, classic-looking people, and that's how it was supposed to be. But recently, Jag has become hilarious, in a good way. The Project 7 is evidence of that.
At first glance, the Project 7 is a Jaguar F-Type V8S. But then you start to notice things. Different things. It has a hump on the rear-deck (What the hell is that called anyway?) that hearkens back to the D-Type. The windshield is chopped four inches. It sits 10 millimeters lower than standard. There's carbon fiber everywhere.
And under the hood sits a 550 horsepower version of the F-Type's V8. And that's linked to the most ridiculous sounding exhaust ever.
If you don't get goosebumps when this car pops and bangs on the overrun, then you must have experienced everything there is to experience. What was it like on the moon? Did you enjoy it? The visceral reaction to the car is this: You hear the overrun, you get goosebumps, you giggle, you do it again. And again. And then one more time.
I'd discuss how the car handles, but I was in a gated community, and I hit maybe 45 MPH. At those speeds, it was really planted. Obviously, that means nothing in the real world. But with 40 pounds taken out of the standard F-Type, better aero, and a better suspension, I'd think it would be pretty fast on a track. There is a limiter that kicks in at 186 MPH. That's fast, but they haven't really done any top speed testing on a track.
But that's not what the Project 7 is about. In talking to Jaguar's designers and engineers, I've been able to figure out the Project 7 is more about Jaguar as a brand than the F-Type as a car.
This will never go into production. This won't be on the streets. Jag is done being stagnant and catering to old men. They want to show that they can be modern while remembering the past. They specifically didn't paint the Project 7 British Racing Green because that would have been too honest. That's why it's in a lovely shade of Ecurie-Ecosse blue.
Looking back to the past isn't a bad thing, but Jaguar used to be overt with it. All cars had to have quad headlights and smell of wood. Then Jag went modern and refused to call back the past. Project 7 marks the realization on Jaguar's part that they can be both modern and retro at the same time, without shoving either down your throat.
You have to be excited for the future of Jag. They finally get it.