(from Ford Press Release, 2003)
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.
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
"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
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.