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.