It’s the most powerful Jaguar, in the world, and yet it’s based on one of Jaguar’s smallest platforms – that of the BMW 3 Series rivalling XE sedan. Jaguar’s SVO division (Special Vehicle Operations) has taken the XE and shoehorned in the most powerful version of the brand’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8.
So how powerful is the most powerful Jaguar, ever? Well, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8’s 5-litre V8 boasts outputs of 441kW (600PS) and 700Nm. Drive goes to all 4 wheels – no rear-wheel driven versions available – integrated with Jaguar’s Electronic Active Differential, ensuring maximum grip and astounding performance. The 0-100km.h dash for example takes just 3.4 seconds, and the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 will top out at 200mph or 322km/h in metric terms.
In addition to the massive V8 crammed under the bonnet, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 also gets a Titanium Variable Active Exhaust and a motorsport derived aerodynamics package to assist the Project 8 in achieving its impressive numbers.
But it’s more than just big numbers and an additional wing, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has also been on a diet, with a host of new lightweight carbon fibre bodywork; including a carbon fibre front bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, a carbon fibre rear bumper, and a vented carbon fibre bonnet. The bodywork has also been altered with 55mm flared arches to accommodate 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels shod in 265- and 305-profile rubber at the front and rear respectively, an adjustable front splitter, flat underbody, new rear diffuser, and an adjustable rear spoiler.
The weight saving measures offset the heavier V8 engine and AWD drivetrain, making the 1745kg the lightest V8-powered sedan in the Jaguar range.
Furthermore, the suspension has been overhauled to provide the most hardcore experience to be found in a Jaguar, with a 15mm drop in ride height, stiffer springs, and manually adjustable continuously variable dampers. In addition, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has been endowed with a new carbon ceramic braking system, and Formula 1 derived silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings – the first of their kind on a street-legal production car.
The interior of the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has also undergone an overhaul and an accompanying diet. Gloss carbon fibre trim has been added, with liberal applications of Alcantara. The gear shift paddles behind the steering wheel are aluminium.
2 specifications will be available from launch for the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, one with 4 fully functional performance seats with magnesium frames, and the other, the Track Pack model, with two lightweight carbon fibre racing seats from Sabelt, standard with four point racing harnesses.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 will be limited to a maximum of 300 units, all of which will be left-hand drive, and all of which will be fully customisable through the Bespoke by SVO program, should owners desire.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is indicative of things to come, with a detuned version of this engine expected to feature in an M3-rivalling Jaguar XE SV – which is expected to debut later this year or early in 2018.