Engineering fine-tuning on the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has almost finished, ahead of production starting in June. Only 300 units will be hand built worldwide. The fastest high performance sedan in the world will hit top speeds of about 322km/h and 0-100km/h acceleration takes just 3.7 seconds. With a 441kW version of Jaguar’s legendary supercharged 5.0-litre V8, Project 8 is the most powerful Jaguar road car to date.
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.
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.
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.
Tosan Aduayi is a veteran motoring journalist and contributor - firstname.lastname@example.org