Nominally, Jaguar said it built this car to commemorate when the Jaguar XK120 won a couple rallies when that world-beating postwar sports car was new.
But to be fair, the kinds of rallies the XK120 was competing in were very, very different from what you see today in the WRC. Events like the 1953 Rally of Great Britain or the 1951 Tulip Rally were meant more as tests of endurance than as outright speed, covering thousands of kilometers on totally open roads. Today’s stage rallies principally focus on going flat out on closed-road special stages. (Not that they don’t have road sections, it’s just that the cars are super specialized to go super fast.)
But in any case, this new F-Type gets some rally-spec gear for it to pay homage:
Full roll cage.
Three-way adjustable shocks.
A 1.5-inch (40mm) lift, per Motor1.
Seats and harnesses.
Rally wheels and tires.
Most importantly, a set of rally lights on the hood.
That’s in addition to its normal 300 horsepower turbo four-cylinder.
Watch this video of the car testing in Wales and you’ll see the driver slow for a kicker, but otherwise rip a jump and some open gravel roads pretty hard.
Again, this is supposed to just be a tribute car, but with the FIA’s sports car-friendly R-GT class, leaving it out of competition seems like Jag’s leaving a lot on the table here.