New Jaguar Sports Car Sets The Pace

New Palmer Jaguar JP1 Sports Car

 

A thrilling new Jaguar sports car, created to deliver the ultimate circuit driving experience, has made its track debut. The 180 mph Palmer Jaguar JP1 uses a modified version of the 3.0-litre V6 engine from the Jaguar X-TYPE and brings new meaning to the phrase ‘racing green’, having been tuned to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Designed in the spirit of a Le Mans-style race car, the distinctive JP1 has joined Jonathan Palmer’s ‘Motorsport Sensation’ programme, the UK’s premier track driving facility established by the former Formula One driver at the Bedford Autodrome, near Thurleigh, Bedfordshire. Engineered to be enjoyed by novice and enthusiast drivers alike, the JP1 is powered by a 245 bhp version of the proven 3.0-litre AJ-V6 engine from the all-wheel drive Jaguar X-TYPE. Cosworth Racing has adapted the power unit to suit the mid-engined layout. The rear wheels are driven through a race specification six speed ‘sequential’ shift gearbox, that allows rapid upward gearchanges with a short, sharp pull-back of the lever without even lifting off the accelerator.

The characteristics of the 24 valve, 3.0-litre V6 from the Jaguar X-TYPE make it well-suited to the JP1. Its all-aluminium construction ensures a low mass and even in standard tune the engine produces a healthy 231 bhp. Cosworth Racing has increased this to 245 bhp, boosted the torque using a bespoke engine management system and improved responsiveness by fitting a lightened flywheel and revising the inlet and exhaust systems.

Weighing barely 650 kg, the JP1 has a power-to-weight ratio approaching 370 bhp/tonne – more than twice that of the standard 3.0-litre Jaguar X-TYPE road car – which ensures fantastic acceleration. From a standing start, the JP1 reaches 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and 100 mph in a further 3.2 seconds. A maximum speed of 180 mph is anticipated.

"I have driven the Jaguar X-TYPE and it has great performance feel and nimble driving dynamics, which combine to make the car flattering to drive. It is also soundly engineered. These are qualities the JP1 shares, with the result that it is easy to drive quickly – and great fun," said Jonathan Palmer, whose race driving CV spans Formula One, Le Mans and Touring Cars.

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Published 5 April 2003 Melanie Carter

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