In November 2017, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 set the lap record for the fastest production four-door car with an impressive lap time of 7:32.23 on the Nürburgring. After a brief hiatus during which the company probably focused on its new crossovers, the F-Pace and I-Pace, the Project 8 is back in action again.
Jaguar is restarting, or finally starting to be more accurate, production of the fantastic XE SV. After it established a new benchmark for production four-door cars across the ‘Ring, the car itself peculiarly did not enter production until now. Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) is finally taking a keen interest in Project 8. SVO intends to hand-build just 300 examples of the XE SV at its Warwickshire Technical Center.
Coming to the facts we already know, the Jaguar XE SV is powered by the now familiar 5.0-liter supercharged V8 petrol motor that sends power to all four wheels. Although the same engine currently does duty under many JLR cars’ hoods, inside the XE SV it’s been tuned to produce 592 hp which sees the car hit the ton in a mere 3.3 seconds. The SV tops out at 320 kph.
Interestingly, Jaguar is taking a different approach to the production of the XE SV. “The good thing about building only 300 cars, all hand-made, is that you can keep developing the car right up to the start of production,” said David Pook, Project 8’s vehicle dynamics engineer. SVO has been tweaking presets and adding new parts to the car, and will continue doing so right until the deliveries begin.
To name a few alterations, SVO has been researching ways to stiffen up the XE SV’s engine mounts and springs, fine-tuning its brakes, increasing and smoothening throttle and transmission response, all in a bid to extract more performance from the car. The SV now gets motorsport tech like front and rear aero bits, race-spec oil cooler, flat underbody, track-spec Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as well as ceramic wheel bearings found on Formula cars. All these changes mean that about the only things that are common between the stock XE and the XE SV are the door panels and the roof.
With these changes, Jaguar reckons that customers of the limited-edition fast sedan will be able to beat the lap times set by the company quite easily and even go on to set records at other circuits across the globe. “With Project 8 we set out to deliver a fast, fun and engaging car that encourages you to explore its performance,” said Mark Stanton, director of special vehicle operations. “Our lap record at the Nürburgring proves we have achieved that, but now we believe we can go faster. We’re continually honing every functional aspect of the car, focusing on marginal gains to make it even quicker yet still accessible to drive.”
The Jaguar XE SV can be yours for $208,707 and deliveries will begin in June.