Jaguar has touted the super XE project for some time – so the model isn’t exactly a surprise, though it does remain a very pleasant introduction in the automaker’s model range.
Some of the brand’s fans won’t be pleased though – just 300 examples of the super sedan will be manufactured, nearly nowhere enough for everyone. The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is – with its aero tweaks, tech goodies and performance upgrades – the latest pet work from the company’s Special Vehicle Operations division. Naturally, the most important upgrade is the use of the familiar supercharged 5.0-liter V8 to deliver in this iteration 592 horsepower with 516 pound-feet of twist, meaning we’re dealing with the most powerful street-legal Jaguar ever conceived.
“SVO’s raison d’être is to produce halo vehicles that push the boundaries in terms of luxury, performance and all-terrain capability. Project 8 is a great example of what happens when enthusiastic designers, engineers and manufacturing specialists are given the opportunity to create an extreme performance sports car without compromise,” comments Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director John Edwards. Aside from the massive power bump, there’s a lot more going on. Carbon fiber has been used for the front and rear bumpers, as well as the vented hood. A widebody kit brings about 20-inch forged alloy wheels.
The aerodynamics have been enhanced with a flat underbody with a rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing – while the sedan is also fitted with standard all-wheel drive. A new setting for the springs with manually adjustable shocks further enhance the road posture, and this is also the first time a Jaguar gets a dedicated track mode setting: it will optimize the driveline and stability control systems, steering and throttle response – while slowing it down will make use of the ceramic brakes.
The interior has been nicely finished in Alcantara and carbon fiber trim, and the Jaguar gets the exclusive use of the eight-speed Quickshift transmission – with paddle shifters behind the wheel. For North America the Project 8 can only be had with a four-seat arrangement with buckets up front – but in other markets the track pack can get rid of the rear ones altogether and also comes with full-on racing harnesses for driver and co-pilot. As far as performance goes, the XE SV Project 8 hits 60 miles per hour in a mere 3.3 seconds, and roars to 200 mph – the official debut being planned for this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.