New Jaguar Sports Car Sets The Pace | Part Two

Beneath its sleek glass-fibre bodywork, the JP1 has a steel tube ‘space-frame’ chassis, with fully adjustable all-independent suspension front and rear. Light alloy wheels with ‘slick’ treadless tyres offer ultimate dry weather grip, with a grooved option should it rain. Powerful disc brakes with four piston callipers are also standard.

"The Palmer Jaguar JP1 captures perfectly the performance of spirit of Jaguar," commented Stuart Dyble, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Jaguar Cars. "When Jonathan approached us with the initial plans for the JP1, we immediately recognised a perfect way for us to share our passion for driving enjoyment with a wider audience. This innovative programme will further raise the Jaguar profile by allowing enthusiasts to experience the dynamic attributes that make a Jaguar so special."

"I’m passionate about delivering the perfect motorsport experience for my guests," explained Jonathan Palmer. "Producing our own sports car – the JP1 – is a personal ambition of mine. Having competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours six times, there’s something very special about driving a sports car. And with its mighty Jaguar V6 power and state of the art suspension geometry and aerodynamics, the JP1 produces phenomenal acceleration, cornering grip and braking capability. Cosworth Racing has done a great job adapting the engine for the JP1 and it really flies. Incidentally, the exhaust note is sensational – to me it’s reminiscent of a V12 Jaguar Le Mans car!"

Bedford Autodrome, where eight JP1s will be based, is designed purely for track days and corporate driving events. It consists of four race tracks – the North, South, East and West – which can be interlinked to create larger, more challenging layouts. The Palmer Jaguars will make their home on the 1.5 mile South circuit, where guests can relax in a purpose-built, Jaguar-themed hospitality suite while waiting for their turn at the wheel – or calming down afterwards!

"The JP1 is awesome through the South circuit's series of unique turns," added Jonathan Palmer. "For a true adrenaline charged challenge, nothing beats the first high speed chicane. Blast up to 130 mph on the approach; brake unbelievably late, push on the gear lever to go down a gear then get straight back on the power as you flick left and right at 90 mph!"

Prior to the JP1 entering service, Jaguar and Jonathan Palmer sought an independent assessment from monthly enthusiasts’ car magazine, EVO.

"The Palmer Jaguar JP1 offers thrills that are genuinely identical to a pure-bred racing car experience," said EVO co-editor, Richard Meaden. "That said, it is rather more forgiving than you might expect. This is a good thing. It allows people to jump in and really feel they’ve explored its abilities, more than in other track day cars I’ve tested. AT EVO we take each car we feature to the Bedford Autodrome as part of our assessment process, and a lap time of 1m 9.8s makes the JP1 the fastest car I have driven around our test circuit. To put this figure in perspective, the lap time for a Ferrari 575M (with 508bhp) is 1m 24.5s."

In addition to the cars used in the ‘Motorsport Sensation’ programme, a small number of ‘evolution’ track day versions of the JP1 will be offered for sale.

Published 5 April 2003 Melanie Carter

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