The most powerful street-legal Jaguar ever made

The road-searing sedan is part of the Collectors’ Edition series from Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations.

By Viju Mathew 23/07/2017

A compact cat with massive muscle, the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is the most powerful street-legal car ever created by the British luxury marque. The road-searing sedan is part of the Collectors' Edition series from the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division and follows the Jaguar F-Type Project 7 from 2014. But while it's the second release in the exclusive line, the XE SV Project 8 presents many firsts for the brand.

Giving the four-door ferocity its brawn is a 440kW, 5-litre supercharged V8. The engine, generating up to 700Nm, makes its debut in a Jaguar that is not restricted to the track. The power train can launch the all-wheel-drive coupe from zero to 100km/h in 3.3 seconds and enables a top speed of 320lm/h.

Also making those metrics possible is an 8-speed automatic transmission that can transition between gears in 200 milliseconds and be accessed from aluminium paddle shifters as well as a centrally located Pistolshift lever. The latter has never been seen on an XE model until now.

Fine-tuned torque

Performance is further boosted by Project 8's Electronic Active Differential and Intelligent Driveline Dynamics systems that combine to constantly control torque delivery to the front and back wheels for greater traction, and a suspension with greater lateral stiffness for more precise response.

Other cutting-edge contributors to the enhanced handling include Formula 1-inspired, silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings — an industry premiere on a road-purposed vehicle — and a new carbon ceramic braking system. The car can also have its ride height manually adjusted.

Alleviating lift

Complementing Project 8's engineering is its mostly aluminium monocoque construction, aerodynamic body design, and weight-minimizing materials. Carbon fibre and composite comprise the hood (with an air extraction duct to decrease drag and increase cooling), the flared front wings, the front splitter, the front and rear bumpers, the side skirts, and the rear diffuser and wing.

As another innovation, the car is the only Jaguar to date to offer Track Mode — a circuit-specific feature that bolsters the vehicle's efficiency and stability at speed. Among its many competitive advantages when activated is the optimal positioning of the rear wing, which works in combination with the front splitter and the car's flat underbody to provide a 205-percent decrease in lift and approximately 125 kilograms of downforce when travelling at 300km/h.

Take a seat

The Project 8 is only available in left-hand drive and comes standard with a four-seat set-up. It can also be ordered, however, with just two carbon-fibre seats sporting a four-point harness system secured by a harness retention hoop that replaces the back passenger area. Creature comforts within the cabin include a 10.2-inch (26cm) touchscreen infotainment display, iOS and Android connectivity, and an 11-speaker Meridian sound system.

Introduced to the world at the United Kingdom's Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 30, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 will have a production run limited to 300 examples. Deliveries of the vehicle will begin in 2018.

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