It doesn’t take long to feel comfortable with this rally-car-that-shouldn’t-be. That’s partly due to Jade’s incredible patience, but the car itself is a real testament to the brains inside JLR. When project leader Simon Butterworth was handed a pair of F-Type road cars and told to turn them into rally cars he would have been quite within his rights to tell his superiors they were barmy. Instead the man who spent his childhood in Kielder Forest watching the RAC rally attacked the project with relish. The result is the embodiment of the fun side of a thoroughly modern car company, the proof that engineers should be allowed off the leash every now and then. It’s also a showcase of how good a car the original F-Type was. Jaguar’s top sportscar is starting to show its age in certain areas, but good engineering will always be good engineering and the F-Type’s inherent ability overcomes interior age when you allow it to really breathe.
Engine: 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
Power/torque: 300PS (296bhp) @ 5,500rpm/400Nm (295lb ft) @ 1,500-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 5.7 seconds (on tarmac…)
Top speed: 155mph (in standard road car form)
Economy: 35.8mpg (but do you really care in a rally car?)
Gross vehicle weight: 1,925kg (before the rally conversion)