Almost a month ago, we learnt that the XE SV Project 8 will be the “extreme performance Jaguar ever”, packing a highly tuned version of JLR’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8, producing 600 hp. Now, it’s time for some more details and of course, un-camouflaged images.
Starting with the bodywork, the Project 8 features a number of purposeful modifications to the XE’s aluminium body panels, including carbon fibre bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, vented carbon fibre bonnet, flared bodywork covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable front splitter, flat underbody, rear carbon fibre bumper, rear diffuser and an adjustable rear wing. Jag says that the Project 8 will be the lightest V8 sedan in the Jaguar range with a kerb weight of 1,745 kg (3,847 lbs).
Interiors too get generous carbon bits and carbon fibre racing seats with Alcantara. Project 8 is also the first Jaguar to feature a dedicated Track Mode, which according to Jaguar, tailors driveline and stability control systems for circuit use, and sharpens both throttle and steering responses for ultimate precision and driver feedback.
There’ll be two specifications at launch. The standard four-seat model features Jaguar’s front Performance seats with magnesium frames, plus a more heavily contoured rear squab to maximize support. The optional two-seat Track Pack includes lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats with Four-Point Harnesses fixed to a Harness Retention Hoop in place of the rear seat. All 300 units will be built in LHD configuration only.
Comfort and Convenience Features
Thankfully, the Project 8 is not all bare bones. It gets a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with full-screen 3D Map View navigation, 10.2-inch Touch Pro infotainment system, 11-speaker 380W Meridian Sound System, Jaguar InControl Remote app and few more features.
Suspension and Brakes
Project 8 endows the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with stiffer springs and manually adjustable Continuously Variable Dampers (giving a 15 mm lower ride height for track use).
The Jaguar CCB system consists of 400 mm two-piece front discs with six-piston aluminium calipers and 396 mm two-piece rear discs with single-piston sliding calipers. Jag says, the system offers lower unsprung mass as well as the most consistent pedal feel, fade resistance and longevity. Project 8 also uses motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid (SRF) with an exceptionally high dry boiling point, which is ideal for use under arduous braking.
Jaguar’s Torque Vectoring by Braking technology helps minimize understeer by independently braking inside wheels during cornering, and works with the Electronic Active Differential to precisely control torque delivery to the rear wheels.
Selecting Track Mode activates calibration settings tailored to circuit use for Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, Adaptive Dynamics, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), ABS, Torque Vectoring by Braking and EPAS systems.
Wheels and Tyres
Front – 9.5 x 20in forged alloy, 265/35 R20; Rear – 11 x 20in forged alloy, 305/30 R20; Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. F1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings have been used, which is claimed to be industry-first on a road car.
The 5.0L Supercharged V8 makes 600 PS at 6,500 rpm and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque between 3,500 – 5,000 rpm, paired with an 8-speed Quickshift automatic, sending power to all four wheels (AWD). The Project 8 is claimed to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, faster than the F-Type (5.3), and the top speed is 200 mph (322 km/h).
Colours and Options
There’ll be 8 body colour choices – Fuji White, Narvik Black and Caldera Red, plus 5 enhanced SVO Design options from the SVO Premium Palette: Valencia Orange, Velocity Blue, Meribel White, Verbier Silver and Corris Grey (satin matte).
Project 8 owners will also be able to personalise their car by specifying further optional colours and finishes from the SVO Premium Palette range, which includes 19 colours in tri-coat, tinted clear coat, Pearlescent, ChromaFlair and satin matte finishes. Race-inspired decal packs, accentuating Project 8’s high-performance attributes, are also available.
For serious track use, specifying the optional Track Pack saves 12.2 kg (27 lbs) by replacing the magnesium-framed front Performance seats with lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats. Like the magnesium-framed seats, the Carbon Fibre items are trimmed in Premium Jet leather and suedecloth, with Project 8 branding on the headrests. Additional Four-Point Harnesses offer ultimate security for track use, and a fire extinguisher system is fitted. The rear seats and seatbelt assemblies are removed for Track Pack specification, replaced by a Project 8-branded carpeted composite panel and a Harness Retention Hoop. On the exterior, Track Pack-equipped Project 8s sport a Gloss Black painted roof and longitudinal Project 8 twin-stripe decals.
Priced from £149,995 in the UK.