Become an Expert on the Jaguar XE SV Project 8

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle (SV) Division have been on somewhat of a roll recently. First appearing with the limited run Jaguar F-Type Project 7 and then following up with the F-Type SVR as well as the Range Rover SV Autobiography, the SV division have been responsible for some of Britain’s most desirable cars of late. And who can forget the Range Rover Sport SVR?

JLR’s SV division uncaged their latest creation in June 2017 and called it the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. With most simply calling it ‘Project 8’ this car’s raison d’etre is to challenge what is possible. The initial fanfare surrounding the Project 8 may have quelled, but with deliveries starting soon it’s important that your pub trivia is up to par. Here is everything you need to know to become an expert on the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. 

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Challenging Times

In a time where the BMW M4 GTS and Black Edition Mercedes-AMG’s battled for headlines, the landscape was in need of a shake up and Jaguar decided it would take the fight to the Germans. The contender was the XE – the smallest sedan Jaguar currently makes, and the challenge was to extract as much performance as possible from their signature 5.0L supercharged V8. In the process they created the most powerful road-going Jaguar in history.   

The SV team managed to safely pull 600ps from the supercharged unit, read c.800ps at the crankshaft before the supercharger had taken it’s power from the engine, and shoehorned it into the diminutive XE chassis. 

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The first challenge they encountered was if the engine physically fit into the bay, it did, and the second challenge was putting that power onto the road, with Rear-Wheel Drive it did not. Jaguar used a modified version of its All Wheel Drive system in the Project 8, however the challenge of using AWD was that the steering column must be positioned on the left, as routing to the right would mean lifting the engine and ruining the car’s centre of gravity. This is why you can’t order a right-hand drive Project 8. You can however take the kids for a drive as there is the Project 8 comes as standard with four seats, however those looking for lightweight thrills can order the track pack which deletes the rears for a roll cage.

It was clear that the Project 8 was going to be one fast cat, but even fast cats need to slow down, to do so the Project 8 was fitted with Jaguar’s 400mm and 396mm Carbon Ceramic disks at the front and back respectively.

Typically the big brakes, 55mm wider track and 20 inch wheels were comically large for a regular XE, meaning the wheel arches and door pressings were made bespoke to the Project 8 to accommodate. So too are 75% of the exterior surfaces, the majority of which are made from Carbon Fibre. Such is the scale of the revisions, the headlights sit 14mm further forward than the regular XE.

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Gripping Stuff

Gone are the days of tail happy Jags, with AWD and 265 & 305 section front and rear Pilot Sport Cup 2 Tyres the Project 8 is practically welded to the asphalt.

Fans of the sideways needn't be disheartened, however, as the Intelligent Driving Dynamics software includes an Electronic Active Differential with the function to switch it all the way off and do some serious slides, should you have taken your brave pill that morning.

With 600ps and 700nm the Project 8 hits 60mph in 3.3 seconds and has a top speed of 200mph. Such pace demanded the airflow was balanced at the rear with that at the front using a fixed wing. Although contentious at launch the rear wing is as functional as it is striking. The vertical struts are tapered at 5 degrees to provide minimal resistance as air comes around the car, and the angle of attack has two settings – one for the street and a steeper one for track work. 

The bonnet is vented and underneath the Project 8 features a track focused front splitter, flat floor and side skirts to push air out of the back. As a practical family saloon the regular XE has a boot well for a spare tyre, the SV team did away with this and used the space to create vacant areas and a diffuser to work in tandem with the flat floor, giving the Project 8 functional aerodynamics.

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Jag Xesvp8Colours

If you’re one of the lucky 300 to have been given the light on your Project 8 then we don’t need to tell you about the colour choices. For those of you left dreaming about how you can specify yours, Jaguar give a choice of eight colours from launch in largely conservative tones. Although if the any of the launch colours don’t spark your plugs then customers are offered the Bespoke by SVO Edition where the choices for customisation are limited only by your budget or taste.

Which of the colours would you pick? Whisper it but in the Metal Valencia Orange has an incredible depth to it, but it’s hard to ignore how menacing one of these would look in the darker tones or Caldera Red. Let us know in the comments how you would specify yours.

So there we have it, you’re caught up on the Project 8. All that is left is for you to head to the pub and wow your mates with your newfound knowledge on the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. Join the club HERE and you may just see some at our club events!