Mixed in with news about a technical partnership between Jaguar and the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record program, the British brand announced this morning that it will show the first AWD F-Type Coupe at the 2014 LA show later this month.
Jaguar tells us that the sure-footed cat, in AWD F-Type R Coupe form, will run from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds, with a limited top speed of 186 mph.
We're told that emphasis was placed on maintaining the car's "engaging rear-drive character," while offering, "blisteringly fast performance" in all weather conditions. While that last bit seems to indicate that the AWD system will be a coupe-first proposition, the press release goes on to mention that the F-Type range will grow from six current variations to 14, in 2015. By our math, that means that some AWD convertibles must be in the cards.
Read on down below to get a bit more information about the tech tie-up between the Bloodhound gang and Jaguar, which somehow gave rise to a video (also below) of the AWD F-Type driving head-to-head with a jet in the South African desert.
New All-Wheel-Drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Boosts Bloodhound SSC Record Bid
- Jaguar announces major partnership with British World Land Speed Record Team
Bloodhound SSC to make World Land Speed Record attempt in 2015 then target 1,000 MPH in 2016
- All-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the Jaguar F-TYPE range - the new F-TYPE range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November 2014
- AWD Jaguar F-TYPE R carries out key communications test on the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape, South Africa
- View the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé in action on the Hakskeen Pan here: www.youtube.com/user/JaguarCarsLimited
South Africa, 6 November: Today, the new all-wheel-drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé ensured the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record programme passed a significant high-speed testing milestone.
The test marks the start of a major technical partnership between Jaguar and The Bloodhound Project, with the ultimate aim of raising the world land speed record above 1,000mph and to assist in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, which is the overall objective of the project. The current record stands at 763.035mph and was set by Andy Green in Thrust SSC in 1997. Andy will drive the Bloodhound Supersonic car.
On the relatively soft surface of the Hakskeen Pan desert in the Northern Cape of South Africa, the stability of the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé and its dynamic ability - it will reach 60mph in just 3.9-seconds with a limited top speed of 186mph - enabled the successful completion of a vital communications test for the Bloodhound SSC team.
Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar said:"Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions."
The AWD F-TYPE R Coupé was driven flat-out by Bloodhound Project Director and former World Land Speed Record holder, Richard Noble who said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce Jaguar as a Main Partner to the Bloodhound Project. This is a very fine match - Jaguar is very strong on innovation and with its huge drive in advanced technology, education and motorsport track record, we have the perfect partner. Together we have developed outstanding inter-team synergy and this is a very special relationship. We are proud to carry the Jaguar branding on Bloodhound SSC."
Fitted with the same radio equipment as the jet and rocket powered Bloodhound SSC, the F-TYPE was driven head-to-head at top speed with a similarly equipped jet flown at 500mph and just 50 feet above the ground. The combined closing speed of almost 700mph enabled the successful test of the system that will allow communications between the ground crew and Andy Green in Bloodhound SSC, which will run for the first time on the Hakskeen desert just twelve months from now.
The addition of all-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the award-winning Jaguar F-TYPE range which will grow from six to 14 derivatives in 2015 - the full range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November.
The Jaguar Land Rover press conference will take place at 14:40 PST (22:40 GMT). Also at the press conference will be Andy Green, who will confirm the full extent of the technical collaboration between Jaguar and the Bloodhound Project.