Stig drives the Jaguar Project 7

In a few days, this car will be flown to Pebble Beach in the States, where rich people will stare at it. Many will produce wads of dollars and insist on taking it home. But Jaguar says it's not for sale. Asked whether it might form the basis of a more hardcore F-Type, company insiders declined to comment. But it's not hard to work this one out. The XK already has R, RS and GT versions (GT being the hardest, most concentrated of the lot). It's inevitable the F will receive similar treatment, and we'd wager that the Project 7 previews at least some features of a go-faster F, whether it's the engine or the aero of its full humpy goodness.

Or just maybe... it's a sign that Jaguar might go racing again. An F-Type GT3, anyone? No way, say the bosses, and we're inclined to believe them. So, for now, then, it's just a bit of fun. Something to pass the time before we get our hands on a buyable, hotted-up F. And in a world of serious people who speak of streamlined platforms and downsized everything, it's good to see a car company with a sense of humour.  Think of the Project 7 as a cartoon for grown-ups. Just look at the Jag badge on the front - they've put shades on the big cat's face. A growler in glasses, they call it. And you don't see one of those every day.

(Words: Dan Read, Photos: James Lipman)