by Jay Traugott
Limited to just 300 examples, 590 hp each.
We knew this was coming and it’ll have its public debut this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Presenting the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, the most powerful Jaguar road car ever. Let’s talk specifics. Limited to just 300 examples worldwide to ensure exclusivity, all will be left-hand drive. Power comes from the familiar 5.0-liter supercharged V8, now producing 590 hp and paired to an eight-speed automatic. Jaguar claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds, making it the brand’s fastest accelerating model to date, and a 200 mph top speed.
Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) was once again called upon to make all of this possible, and the changes were pretty extensive. That supercharged V8 is the most highly tuned version of that engine to date, thanks to a new Titanium Variable Active Exhaust, all-wheel drive, and motorsport-derived aerodynamics.
SVO altered the XE’s lightweight aluminum body panels, which included adding enhanced cooling ducts to the carbon fiber bumper, vented carbon fiber hood, flared bodywork covering a set of 20-inch forged aluminum alloys, adjustable front splitter, flat underbody, rear carbon fiber bumper, rear diffuser and an adjustable rear wing. All of that combined makes the Project 8 the lightest sedan in the lineup. Along with outright speed, road and track handling was also key, which involved stiffening the front and rear suspensions, manually adjustable variable dampers (which lowers ride height by 15 mm for track use), and a new carbon ceramic braking system.
Jaguar claims the latter is an industry-first use of Formula 1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car. The interior features gloss carbon fiber and Alcantara trim and a unique steering wheel. There’s even a pistol shift gear lever. Along with a dedicated track mode, the Project 8 will have two available specifications: the standard version featuring magnesium framed front performance seats, or the optional two-seat Track Pack with carbon fiber racing seats equipped with four-point harnesses fixed to a harness retention hoop in place of the rear seat. Eight body color choices will be available and buyers can even personalize from the SVO Premium Palette range. Prices start from 149,995 GBP, or just over $192,000.