XE SV Project 8 Aiming For More Records

Engineering fine-tuning on the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has almost finished, ahead of production starting in June.

Jaguar XE SV Project 8
Image Supplied by Jaguar South Africa

Since its public debut at last July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the fastest-ever four-door Jaguar has undergone numerous enhancements to ensure Project 8 is the fastest and most thrilling of all road-legal four-door sedans.

Jaguar XE SV Project 8
Video Supplied by Jaguar South Africa

John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, says: 

“The fastest high performance sedan in the world just keeps getting betterThe Jaguar XE SV Project 8 development team at Special Vehicle Operations keep pushing boundaries – the drive to do that is in our designers’ and engineers’ blood.”

Project 8 is a four-door car with genuine supercar performance. Top speed is 322km/h and 0-100km/h acceleration takes just 3.7 seconds*. It set a new four-door production car record around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife last year – the ‘gold’ standard for all-round high performance. Its best lap of 7 min 21.23 sec was quicker than many supercars, and broke the old four-door record by more than 10 seconds. 

Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, says: 

“With Project 8 we set out to deliver a fast, fun and engaging car that encourages you to explore its performance. 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.”

With a 441kW version of Jaguar’s legendary supercharged 5.0-litre V8, Project 8 is the most powerful Jaguar road car to date. No more than 300 of these limited-edition cars will be hand assembled by Special Vehicle Operations at its Technical Centre in Coventry.

David Pook, Project 8’s Vehicle Dynamics Manager, says:

“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 productionAnd we’ve done just that. The springs have got stiffer and so have the engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have changed. The brakes have been refined for the exact pedal feel and performance we want. This has all been done to make the car even more responsive and to handle even better.

“But the biggest changes are to software. They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement. We keep honing the whole car, relentlessly. We’re never really happy. We keep challenging ourselves to keep improving the car, and push boundaries. It’s certainly even faster, better handling and more responsive than it was six months ago. All that effort has been worth it.”

Unlike most high performance production sedans, the four-wheel-drive Project 8 is studded with genuine motor racing technology. This includes, as standard, adjustable ride height, adjustable camber, adjustable front splitter and rear wing, a flat underbody, a differential oil cooler, track-perfect Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as standard on forged 20-inch wheels and – a production car first – F1-style ceramic wheel bearings. 

The front uprights, two-part upper wishbones, balljoints in place of rubber bushes, twin coil springs, dampers, lower suspension bushes, anti-roll bars and latest specification carbon ceramic brakes are all new and bespoke to Project 8. The only carryover body components from the standard XE are the roof and front door skins, both made from aluminium. The vented bonnet and flared front wings and bumpers are made from lightweight carbon fibre.

The result of this state-of-the-art technology is improved driver feel and confidence, sharper handling responses and exceptional durability, allowing repeated high-speed track driving.

In its most extreme settings, and in ‘Track’ mode, Project 8 delivers 122kg of downforce at 300km/h – that’s 25 percent more than its nearest rival. And, it is the first Jaguar to offer a Track mode, standard on all versions, which tailors driveline and stability control systems for circuit use by sharpening throttle and steering responses and tuning the dampers to their most aggressive setting.

Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, says: 

“Power delivery and gear shifts are the most visceral we have ever offered on a Jaguar – every 1/100thof a second improvement in shift time adds up over a complete lap of the Nürburgring.”

Two versions of Project 8 are available. The four-seat version contains all the motorsport technology that is the hallmark of Project 8. In addition, there is a more hardcore two-seat Track Pack version that saves 12.2kg in weight and includes carbon fibre racing seats and four-point safety harnesses. In place of the back seat is a solid metal panel and Harness Retention Hoop, which helps boost torsional rigidity by 27 percent over the four-seat version.

Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director, says: 

“Rest assured, no stone has been left unturned in our mission to make this the most rewarding Jaguar driver’s car ever.”

Project 8 deliveries begin this summer, but availability is limited to left-hand drive markets only.

 

*All figures are manufacturer’s estimates and subject to final confirmation ahead of production

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