Currently reading: Buy them before we do: used picks for 15 April
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 steps into the spotlight this week

Jaguar XE SV Project 8, £105,995

Is there such a thing as a trackbred demon that’s also suitable for the school run? Jaguar certainly thought so when it produced the ultra-limited Jaguar XE SV Project 8 – a bespoke reworking of the Jaguar XE compact saloon.

While it may appear at first glance to be a normal XE with a spoiler superglued to the rear, the Project 8 is much, much more. It was developed by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division and retained four seats but gained an entirely new, bespoke body, save for the roof and the front doors.

The model’s suspension was also reworked, and its Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres became the first such set to be fitted to a new Jaguar. Under the relatively unassuming bonnet sits Jaguar’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8, ramped up to produce 592bhp and 516lb ft. The Project 8 can complete 0-62mph in 3.3sec and its top speed is put at 200mph

To this day, it’s Jaguar’s most powerful road car ever. The British firm even claimed the model lapped the Nürburgring in 7min 21sec, which is seven seconds quicker than the BMW M4 GTS and the fastest time clocked by a saloon car. In the front, sports seats keep the driver cemented in place, although the same is not true for rear passengers.

The car’s staggering circuit performance is partly credited to its bespoke aero pack, which helps it to produce 122kg of downforce at 186mph. Despite its comprehensive track makeover, though, the Project 8 is also capable on the road thanks to an impressive damping system.

Of course, it’s firm, but we think there is more than enough compliance and bump absorption to deal with most road surfaces and we’ve never found it overbearing.

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Just 300 examples were made (and, annoyingly, all in left-hand drive) but we found a 2019 car for £105,995. Okay, that’s by no means cheap, but it’s a significant saving considering the Project 8’s original £149,999 2018 launch price. It has been driven for just 6000 miles and has a full Jaguar service history.

Verdict: Take it

Volkswagen Touran, £1800: This Touran can be forgiven for having had better days, seeing as it has covered 200,000 miles. Its current owner says it needs a new windscreen and clutch, and that’s just to pass an MOT test, which it will need to do by the end of April, when the existing one expires. That won’t be cheap. The owner spent £3000 on it last year, too.

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Verdict: Leave it

Mazda MX-5, £12,995: The owner of this MX-5 requires a bigger car, so now is the chance to bag this fine 2015 example just in time for summer. The car is a 1.5-litre model in Sport Nav trim with grey and black leather seats and it’s being sold privately. It has a full Mazda service history, has been recently serviced and comes with an MOT until August. It has done 42,000 miles and is yours for £12,995.

Verdict: Take it

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Ford Fiesta, £6845: The high price of this Fiesta 1.25 Zetec is a reflection of its relatively low, 24,000 mileage and its clean condition. However, almost £7000 for a nine-year-old example is unimpressive when compared with other, newer Fiestas on the market. Many are priced lower, are more refined and benefit from Ford’s excellent Ecoboost engine.

Verdict: Leave it

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Rodester 15 April 2022
Project iron fist!

That's what it was, it simply delivered a knockout punch to the Boche and Italian bischero, a punch that knocked them out of the park. The Giulia Quadrifoglio never recovered and Alfa is on the brink of bankruptcy, the Hun flounder with inferior, poor quality products that no one wants. Meanwhile, Jaguar triumphs as it heads into a new age, an electric age, a premium age.

sabre 15 April 2022

It seems like a usually overexaggerated dealer description. Even for a high performance car, I'd like to drive from point A knowing I'll reach point B and with Jaguar, I won't take it.