By Theodore Opara
Hand-assembly of the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8, the most powerful, agile and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever, begins this month. The first examples of Project 8, a limited-edition sports sedan with genuine supercar performance, will be delivered to performance driving enthusiasts this summer.
The All-Wheel Drive 441kW 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol Project 8, which has a top speed of 322km/h and accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, set a new four-door production car record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany last year – the ‘gold’ standard for all-round high performance. Its best lap of 7 min 21.23 sec was quicker than many supercars. It is available either as a four-seater or in lightweight two-seat Track Pack configuration, which also boosts torsional rigidity by 27 per cent over the four-seat version (Track Pack is a market-dependent option at extra cost).
According to John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, “The SV team’s aim 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.”
Fundamental to the performance of the most track-focused SV vehicle ever produced, Project 8 features a number of modifications to the award-winning XE’s lightweight aluminium bodywork, including: carbon fibre bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, vented carbon fibre bonnet, flared wheelarches covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable front splitter, flat underbody, rear carbon fibre bumper with integrated diffuser, and an adjustable rear aerodynamic wing. These developments ensure that Project 8 is the lightest and most purposeful V8 sedan in the Jaguar range.
To ensure optimum performance on road or track, Project 8 enhances the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with redesigned front uprights, two-piece upper wishbones, plus motorsport-derived ball joints and twin springs (height-adjustable for a 15mm lower ride on track). It also debuts a new Carbon Ceramic Braking system, an industry-first use of F1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car and incorporates a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD) with oil cooler – a first for XE.
To maximise traction, Project 8 utilises a re-calibrated version of Jaguar’s eight-speed Quickshift All-Wheel Drive system. Capable of changing gear in just 200 milliseconds, and shifting non-sequentially, such as from 8 to 2 in extreme situations, it helps deliver outstanding precision and confidence with a strong torque-rich shift quality unique to this car.