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Jaguar builds pair of drop-top F-Type rally cars to get dirt in your hair

By Cameron Kirby, 12 Nov 2018 News

Jaguar builds pair of drop-top F-Type rally cars to get dirt in your hair

Apparently built to celebrate the XK120, we don’t see the link, but love the idea

FEELING A bit dusty after the weekend? Well, Jaguar is here to blow out your cobwebs with a drop-top rally-spec F-Type.

Well actually, there are two of these dirt-ready cars, which have already taken to the Walters Arena rally stage in Wales.

Traditionally rally cars are very much fixed-top vehicles, what with all the dust, rocks and dirt, but Jaguar said to hell with convention, and have used F-Type convertibles for their creations.

Read next: 2018 Jaguar F-Type 2.0 performance review

Fitted with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the gravel-spitting F-Type sends 221kW and 400Nm to the rear wheels.

While power remains unchanged, the suspension and brakes have been fettled to withstand special stage punishments. Grooved discs and four-piston calipers have been fitted front and back, while the showroom-spec suspension has been upgraded to a competition-ready setup.

This includes hand-built dampers which offer three-way adjustability, and softer springs to soak up the bumps and jumps dished out by a rally stage.

A limited slip diff has been fitted, along with a bonnet-mounted light pod, fire extinguisher, FIA-spec roll cage, racing bucket seats, new wheels, and a hydraulic handbrake to send you sideways into a hairpin.

All of that begs the question, why? Well, Jaguar’s design boss Ian Callum says the two F-Type rally cars celebrate 70 years since the XK120.

Watch the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport rally car testing

“The opportunity to design a rally car doesn’t come along very often,” Callum explained. “These models are a fitting tribute to the XK 120 and all the great Jaguar sports cars since its reveal 70 years ago.”

The XK 120 competed in three consecutive Alpine rallies in the early ‘50s, but in all honesty, we just think Jag’s engineers wanted to build a couple of rally cars to blast around in on the weekend, and the marketing department footed some of the bill.

Despite our cynicism, we are glad these two cars exist, if only for the shot of an F-Type three-wheelin’ its way around a corner, throwing rocks as it goes.

Unfortunately, neither vehicle is for sale, but hopefully they inspire a rally-obsessed Jag owner somewhere to take their car onto some gravel for plenty of sideways fun.