Hand-assembly of the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8, the most powerful, agile and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever, begins this month (June 2018).
As disclosed by the auto maker, in a statement released on Friday, the first examples of Project 8, a limited-edition sports sedan with genuine supercar performance, will be delivered to performance driving enthusiasts this summer.
The All-Wheel Drive 441kW 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol Project 8, which has a top speed of 322km/h and accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds*, set a new four-door production car record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany last year – the ‘gold’ standard for all-round high performance. Its best lap of 7 min 21.23 sec was quicker than many supercars. It is available either as a four-seater or in lightweight two-seat Track Pack configuration, which also boosts torsional rigidity by 27 percent over the four-seat version (Track Pack is a market-dependent option at extra cost).
On the new project, John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, said the SV team’s aim is to produce halo vehicles that push the boundaries in terms of luxury, performance and all-terrain capability.
He said:“Project 8 is a great example of what happens when enthusiastic designers, engineers and manufacturing specialists are given the opportunity to create an extreme performance sports car without compromise.”
Fundamental to the performance of the most track-focused SV vehicle ever produced, Project 8 features a number of modifications to the award-winning XE’s lightweight aluminium bodywork, including: carbon fibre bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, vented carbon fibre bonnet, flared wheelarches covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable front splitter, flat under-body, rear carbon fibre bumper with integrated diffuser, and an adjustable rear aerodynamic wing. These developments ensure that Project 8 is the lightest and most purposeful V8 sedan in the Jaguar range.
To ensure optimum performance on road or track, Project 8 enhances the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with redesigned front uprights, two-piece upper wishbones, plus motorsport-derived ball joints and twin springs (height-adjustable for a 15mm lower ride on track). It also debuts a new Carbon Ceramic Braking system, an industry-first use of F1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car and incorporates a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD) with oil cooler – a first for XE.
To maximise traction, Project 8 utilises a re-calibrated version of Jaguar’s eight-speed Quickshift All-Wheel Drive system. Capable of changing gear in just 200 milliseconds, and shifting non-sequentially, such as from 8 to 2 in extreme situations, it helps deliver outstanding precision and confidence with a strong torque-rich shift quality unique to this car.
Project 8’s all-new Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) system features 400mm two-piece front discs withsix-piston aluminium calipers, 396mm two-piece rear discs and uses motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid (SRF). Incorporating the latest braking technology they deliver consistent pedal feel, fade resistance and longevityunder the most demanding conditions.
The Electronic Active Differential (EAD) system works with the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system to precisely manage torque delivery to each of the rear wheels. In conjunction with enhanced large diameter front and rear driveshafts, the EAD ensures optimum ability to put power and traction to the road in all situations and contributes to the exceptional lap times achievable by Project 8.
The wheel and tyre package of the Project 8 is the largest ever fitted to a production Jaguar sports sedan. Measuring 9.5 x 20-inch at the front and 11 x 20-inch at the rear, the forged aluminium alloy wheels are engineered for light weight and stiffness and are fitted with track-perfect Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres fitted as standard (the only option).
This is also the first Jaguar to feature a dedicated Track Mode as standard. I
n its most extreme settings, and in ‘Track’ mode, Project 8 delivers 122kg of downforce at 300km/h – 25% more than its closest rival. Track mode tailors the driveline and stability control systems for circuit use by sharpening throttle, gearbox and steering responses and tuning the dampers to their most aggressive setting.
David Pook, Project 8’s Vehicle Dynamics Manager, says:“We’ve continued to develop and hone the whole car right up to the start of production, to make it even more responsive and to handle even better. The springs are stiffer and so are the engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have changed. The brakes have been refined for the exact pedal feel and performance we want.
“But the biggest changes are to software. They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement. 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.”
For serious circuit use, specifying the optional Track Pack saves 12.2kg by replacing the magnesium-framed front Performance seats with lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats. Additional Four-Point Harnesses offer ultimate security, and a fire extinguisher system is fitted. The rear seats and seatbelts are removed for Track Pack specification, replaced by a Project 8-branded carpeted panel and a Harness Retention Hoop.
Project 8 is available in eight body colour choices – three eye-catching standard colours: Fuji White, Narvik Black and Caldera Red, plus five enhanced SV Design options incorporating colours and finishes from the SV Premium Palette: Valencia Orange, Velocity Blue, Meribel White, Verbier Silver and Corris Grey (satin matte). Track Pack-equipped Project 8s are distinguished by a Gloss Black painted roof and Project 8 twin-stripe exterior decals.
Owners will also be able to personalise their car by specifying further optional colours and finishes from the SV Premium Palette range, which includes 19 colours in tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTMand satin matte finishes. Race-inspired decal packs, accentuating Project 8’s high-performance attributes, are also available.
The high-performance theme continues inside, with subtle applications of Gloss Carbon Fibre trim as well as Alcantara, on the rim of the Project 8 Sports Steering Wheel, instrument binnacle and door cards. The eight-speed Quickshift transmission can either be operated by aluminium shifters behind the steering wheel or by a central shift lever – another first on XE.
Project 8 is the second Collector’s Edition Jaguar from Special Vehicles, after the 2014 F-TYPE Project 7. Deliveries begin this summer and all Project 8s will be built in left-hand drive configuration only.