Jaguar have unveiled their most powerful track-focussed and road legal performance car ever, the XE SV Project 8. What it is is basically a heavily modified track version of the XE saloon, which is capable of 320 kmph. Along with a bigger top speed - 72 kmph faster than any production XE - Jaguar have also enabled the Project 8 to set competitive lap times on a racing circuit, although the firm hasn’t publicly specified a time target for any given circuit. The Project 8 is second 'Collector's Edition' by the JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division. It was revealed to the public this week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
It is powered by a highly tuned up 5.0-ltre supercharged V8 petrol engine, that makes 592 bhp giving the Project 8 the capability of doing 0-100 kmph sprint in 3.3 seconds. The power is channelled to all four wheels and it gets recalibrated version of Jaguar’s eight-speed quick shift gearbox, that has been refined to reduce shift time to 200 milliseconds.
The development of the car was started in August last year, and Jaguar aims to launch it sometime in September with deliveries beginning in May 2018. The Project 8 is being extensively tested at various tracks, including the Nurburgring, where Jaguar plans to do a lap record attempt later this year.
While most of the exterior is more or less similar, 75% of the bodywork is new, with only the front doors and roof unchanged from the production model. The track biased car has been fitted with a bespoke carbon fibre bonnet, which is 3 kg lighter than the production model, comes with an air extraction duct for extra engine cooling.
The car features three drive modes: Normal, Dynamic (the default setting) and a new Track mode, which will adjust the engine map, dampers, steering and throttle for optimum performance. It will be available in two forms: the ‘normal’ four-seat model and a two-seat Track Pack version. Only 300 units of the XE SV Project 8 will be built and will all be left-hand drive. JLR has yet to confirm how many will be available in various markets.