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Jaguar is building a 4WD F-Type

Two pieces of interlinked excellence to report. Jaguar is teaming up with the Bloodhound SSC Land Speed Record team, and, in the process, confirming one of the worst kept secrets around - there will be a four-wheel-drive F-Type.

The partnership with Bloodhound goes beyond pure sponsorship and into technical assistance. We reckon for example, on Jaguar’s supercharged V8 - as fitted in the F-Type R coupe - coming into play…

The main business of getting Bloodhound to 1,000mph is taken care of by a Rolls-Royce EJ200 from a Eurofighter Typhoon, and a bespoke rocket motor, that together deliver the equivalent of around 135,000bhp. Adequate.

Jaguar has been helping Bloodhound test at Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape of South Africa where the record attempts will start this time next year. We say attempts because the plan is to beat the existing record (763.035mph, set by Thrust SSC in 1997) next year, and then go beyond four figures in 2016.

At Hakskeen the team has been using the new F-Type R AWD to test high speed communications, equipping the Jag with the same radio kit that Bloodhound will use and driving it flat out towards a jet fighter heading the other way, the idea being that the closing speed will mimic the conditions the Land Speed Record car will undergo next year. Well, kind of, as the 500mph closing speed is half what Bloodhound is expected to do. No matter, sounds like the kind of publicity stunt Top Gear would like to be involved in…

There are no more details on the 4WD F-Type just yet, but it’s safe to say Jaguar is responding to rivals such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and forthcoming Audi R8 replacement due next year. What Jaguar has confirmed is that it’s not just the flagship R Coupe that will gain 4WD.

At the LA show in two weeks time the manufacturer will apparently confirm that the F-Type range will expand from six to 14 models. Which, if we’ve got our finger-counting right, means there will be more announcements than just the addition of 4WD. Intriguing…

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