The XE SV Project 8 is the most powerful road-going Jaguar yet created
Like the Project 7, the XE SV will be hand-built at SVO’s Technical Centre in Coventry
The XE SV drives all four wheels rather than being rear-driven like the Project 7
Jaguar has yet to release official figures but it claims that the Project 8 is its most extreme model and will offer supercar-aping performance
The Project 8, pictured wearing light camouflage, has been developed at the Nürburgring Nordschleife
This exclusivity and the fact that the car is hand-built will send prices soaring well above that of the regular XE range
Jaguar's most powerful road-going car, the XE SV Project 8, is on display at the LA motor show, marking the first time it has been seen since setting a new record for four-door cars at the Nürburgring.
The car clocked a 7min 21.23sec time along the 12.9-mile course. A video of the lap is shown below.
The 592bhp saloon model, a Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) creation, beat the previous quickest four-door, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, and its 7min 32sec time.
Like most 'Ring record claims, timing was handled by the manufacturer, but it has released a video (below) showing the lap in its entirety to back the claim.
Nearing the end of its pre-production schedule and on course for customer deliveries from May 2018, the XE SV is the second special-edition model launched by SVO, following the Jaguar F-Type Project 7 in 2014. It will be hand-built at SVO’s Technical Centre in Coventry rather than alongside regular XEs in Solihull.
A Jaguar spokesman told Autocar that more than 100 XE SVs - a third of the total due for production - had sold before the car made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. They added that news of the Project 8's 'Ring record will ensure that the "entire production run will be sold out soon".
Like the Project 7, the special XE model makes use of Jaguar's supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine. But power has been ramped up to unprecedented levels, peaking at 23bhp more than the special-edition F-Type. The XE SV is all-wheel drive, rather than being rear-driven like the Project 7, and uses a specially tuned version of its eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
The Project 8 is Jaguar's most accelerative current model, with a 0-60mph time of 3.3sec beating the all-wheel-drive F-Type SVR by two-tenths. This edges the XE SV into the realms of the Porsche 911 GT3 and ahead of fellow limited-run track special, the BMW M4 GTS.
Jaguar's £149,995 model uses racing-specification bodywork to produce downforce. It gets an adjustable front splitter, a flat underbody, a rear diffuser and carbonfibre bumper, and an adjustable rear wing.
Although the exterior looks broadly similar to the regular XE, it has been extensively reworked: 75% of the bodywork is new, with only the front doors and roof unchanged from the production models. In particular, the front headlights have been moved forward by 14mm to allow for extra cooling and engine work.
The Project 8 gets a bespoke carbonfibre bonnet that's 3kg lighter than the production version. It also includes an air extraction duct for extra engine cooling.
Its widened body features arches that extend 55mm further out to accommodate the 305mm-width tyres. The revised panels required SVO engineers to also install custom-made rear doors.
The car’s exterior has been developed with wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics simulations. Jaguar says it has achieved a 205% reduction in lift in Track mode, with the car producing more than 122kg of downforce at 186mph.
SVO director Mark Stanton said: "Only the roof and front door skins of Project 8’s body are carried over unaltered from XE. Our astonishing Nürburgring Nordschleife record validates the success of such extensive changes.”