Jaguar unleashes its most powerful car ever Project 8 XE
- Just 300 XE SV Project 8s will be made at Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations facility in Coventry
- Both road and track-only models will be made and cost from £150K – five times the price of a normal XE
- The 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine develops 600 horse-power – more than an XJ220 supercar
- The limited edition super saloon will make its official debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend
Jaguar has unleashed its most powerful ever road car with a top speed of 200mph and the ability to accelerate from rest to 60mph in just 3.3 seconds.
It has taken the wraps fully off its new £150,000 XE SV Project 8, which turns a compact family four-door Jaguar XE saloon into a roaring pocket supercar.
It is the ‘fastest accelerating Jaguar yet’ and features aerodynamics derived from motor sport.
Most powerful Jaguar ever: When you think of the most brutally potent Jaguar ever made, you will probably think of the XJ220 supercar from the early 1990s. But this new XE SV Project 8 trumps even that with 600 horse power
To ‘ensure exclusivity’, a limited run of 300 of the all-wheel drive hyper-saloons are being hand-built at Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations facility in Coventry, with deliveries globally from next summer on a first come, first served basis.
At the cost of £150,000, they’ll be five times more expensive than the standard XE. That said, they’ll also be three times more powerful.
We’ve already seen the car cloaked in camouflage, but these images show it in its production-ready form, lathered in a coating of blood orange paint.
The new model is set to have its first public outing at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex, on Friday June 30, having already been tested and timed in secret at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.
But I had an early private view with bosses at JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division– its equivalent to James Bond’s Q-branch .
They said their aim was to fit their biggest engine into their smallest car to create ‘a thrilling mix of explosive power, dynamic agility and all-wheel-drive traction.’
It is available as both a four-seater saloon for use on the road, and as a more extreme two-seater track version.
Just 300 of the cars will be made, all of which will only be available in left-hand drive – that’s got to leave a sour taste in the mouth of interested Britons
The main target it will go after is BMW’s highly-strung M4 GTS. This German souped-up coupe only has 493bhp – that’s 99bhp short of the Jaguar
Even the iconic XJ220 lacks the outright power of the new Project 8 – the 1990s supercar has 50bhp less than the new super saloon
Powered by a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 petrol engine, it develops 600 horse-power – equivalent to six Ford Fiestas – and 50 horse-power more than a Jaguar XJ220 supercar of the early 1990s.
It is also 100bhp more than German rival BMW’s £120,500 M4 GTS, which is one of the key cars the ‘leaping cat’ has firmly in its sights.
The new limited-run vehicle has been developed at JLR’s state-of-the art £20million SVO technical centre at Ryton in Coventry – on the redeveloped site of the former and now demolished Peugeot factory – and is the follow-up to the firm’s limited edition F-Type Project 7.
Some 75 per cent of the original XE has been re-engineered and only two sets of the original exterior panels remain on the Project 8 version – the front doors and the roof.
The rear wheel haunches are wider than on the original car, and the front headlights had to be moved forward to accommodate the chunky 20 inch wheels. The aluminium rear doors have been re-shaped with more muscular body flare.
Road and track versions will be available in the 300-only selection. The latter will weigh quite a bit less thanks to the addition of carbon fibre race seats up front and no seats at all in the back
Last month, we showed you these first images of the Project 8 undergoing secret tests at the Nurburgring in Germany. Now it has been shown without the cover-up camouflage
There won’t be many other cars with enough room for kids in the back that can lap a track at the same rate as this
Project 8 also has powerful carbon ceramic brakes and the fastest ever Jaguar paddle-shift gears capable of selecting gears in just 200 milliseconds, and shifting directly from eighth gear to second in extreme situations for improved responsiveness, agility, precision and driver confidence.
Keeping the car grounded – rather than taking off like an aeroplane – a flat underbody helps achieve a 205 per cent reduction in lift.
A rear aerodynamic wing and a manually adjustable front splitter delivers more than 122kg of downforce at 186mph – 25 per cent more than the Project 8’s nearest competitor, says the firm.
Jaguar design director Ian Callum said the styling of the Project 8 was driven by physics as well as aesthetics: ‘The aerodynamic elements are hugely significant beyond 150mph, even more so beyond 180mph. This is one of the most extreme vehicles we have ever created, but still very much a Jaguar.’
Mark Staunton, director of Special Vehicle Operations added: ’It is the most track-focussed road-going Jaguar ever. It has been created by a team of enthusiasts for enthusiastic drivers. Its form follows function.
‘We have really been able to unleash the potential of our engineering and design teams. The SVO team is full of performance car enthusiasts that are now briefed to deliver motorsport science and soul in what is effectively a four-door supercar.’
Spot the difference: Here is how different the Project8 looks next to a conventional XE saloon. The former is also five times as expensive
There will be eight exterior colour choices to go for – we particularly like this Valencia Orange tone
There’s nothing subtle about the design – squared-off arches, an enormous rear wing and a quad exhaust setup within a widened rear diffuser point to a car with serious track potential
All 300 will be left-hand drive and ‘all will be unique’, he said.
WILL IT FIT IN MY GARAGE?
JAGUAR XE SV PROJECT 8
Built: JLR Special Vehicle Operation (SVO), Ryton, Coventry
Run: Limited edition of 300
Price: from £149,995
Length (mm): 4,713
Width inc. / exc. mirrors (mm): 2,075mm / 1,954mm
Height road / track (mm): 1,436mm / 1,421mm
Wheelbase (mm): 2,835mm
Weight (kg): from 1,745kg
Engine: 5.0 litre V8 supercharged petrol
Power: 600 horse-power (PS)
Transmission: 8-speed Quickshift automatic, All-Wheel Drive, Stop/Start
Top speed: 200mph
0-60mph: 3.3 seconds
Fuel economy: 11mpg
CO2 emissions: 254g/km
Exterior: 75% of exterior re-engineered, Only front doors and roof panels remain from original XE.
But the mighty XE Project 8 won’t count saving the planet among its super powers. This growling gaz-guzzler will struggle to achieve 11mpg and has CO2 emissions of 254g/km.
Away from the road, it boast features that should make it a lap-time demolishing weapon at circuits. These include a manually adjustable ride height, aerodynamics and ‘intelligent driveline dynamics’ mode including a track setting.
The optional two-seater ‘Track Pack’ version will be even more rapid, tipping the scales 12.2kg lighter thanks to two lightweight carbon-fibre race-specification seats with four-point harnesses fixed to a harness retention hoop that replaces the rear seats.
The car is the first to use Jaguar’s new carbon ceramic braking system, and also marks an industry-first use of F1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car, which reduce mass by 840g, cut friction, increase stiffness, and improve steering response.
Other modifications to the XE’s lightweight aluminium body panels include: carbon fibre front and rear bumpers with enhanced cooling ducts, a vented carbon fibre bonnet, flared bodywork covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels. Suspension is stiffer and 15mm lower to the ground than the conventional compact saloon.
The eight-speed Quickshift transmission can either be operated by aluminium paddle shifters behind the steering wheel or by a central Pistolshift lever – another first for XE.
The interior features a gloss carbon fibre trim as well as Alcantara fabric on the top of the dashboard, the instrument binnacle, door interiors and on the rim of the sport steering wheel to reduce windscreen reflections.
There are eight body colour choices – Fuji White, Narvik Black and Caldera Red as standard – and five enhanced ‘premium palette’ option: Valencia Orange, Velocity Blue, Meribel White, Verbier Silver and a Corris Grey satin matte. Owners can also personalise their car from a bespoke 10,000 exterior shades. Race-inspired decal packs are also available.
There are also different accent colours for brake calipers, front grille surround, aerodynamic parts and mirror caps, as well as racing-inspired decal packs, anodised paddle shifters, personalised tread plates and plaques.
The road version (left) will feature the same five-seat layout as the standard XE. The track-only model (right) will strip-out the rear bench to save weight and add carbon bucket seats and five-point harnesses
Each of the 300 creations will be unique and built to order for the customer with £150,000 ready and waiting
You’ll get your first chance to see the new XE SV Project 8 in the flesh at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday
Life’s little luxuries are not forgotten either. It has a tablet-style 10.2-inch touchscreen that not only displays the sat-nav map but adds a stopwatch, g-meter readout and accelerator and braking graphics to the central display for those who want to hone their track-driving skills.
The car also functions as a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling up to eight devices to connect to the internet.
Fears that your very exclusive car might get pinched are quenched by a secure tracker system that links directly to the police to locate and recover the vehicle if it is stolen.
John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations managingdirector, said: ‘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’.
Vehicle engineering manager Stuart Adlard said:’It’s a Jaguar, but not like any Jaguar you have seen before. And its growl sounds like no other Jaguar.’
Designer Wayne Burgess said:’It’s every schoolboy’s dream to design a supercar, and now I’ve fulfilled mine. The challenge was to fit the biggest engine into the smallest saloon car. We had to shrink-wrap the skin over the mechanics.’
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online