Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) has revealed the most powerful, agile and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever – the 200mph, 600PS Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sedan.
The second Collector’s Edition by SVO, following the successful F-TYPE Project 7 of 2014, Project 8 is a hand-built four-door sedan with supercar performance – designed to thrill driving enthusiasts, with an extraordinary combination of explosive power, dynamic agility and all-wheel-drive traction. To ensure exclusivity, no more than 300 examples will be created, each assembled at SVO’s Technical Centre in Coventry.
John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, said: “SVO’s raison d’être is to produce halo vehicles that push the boundaries in terms of luxury, performance and all-terrain capability. 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. Project 8 will be assembled by hand in the new SVO Technical Centre, and we’re confident that our enthusiastic and demanding clients will love driving Project 8 as much we do!”
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 exclusively features the most highly tuned version of Jaguar Land Rover’s 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol powertrain. The 600PS power unit, which has a Titanium Variable Active Exhaust, is complemented by Jaguar’s All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system and motorsport-derived aerodynamics to deliver a 200mph top speed and 0-100kph in 3.3sec, making Project 8 the fastest accelerating Jaguar yet.
Fundamental to the performance of the most track-focused car SVO has ever produced, Project 8 features a number of purposeful modifications to the award-winning XE’s lightweight aluminium body panels, including: Carbon Fibre Bumper with enhanced Cooling Ducts, vented Carbon Fibre Bonnet, flared bodywork covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable Front Splitter, Flat Underbody, rear Carbon Fibre Bumper, rear Diffuser and adjustable Rear Aerodynamic Wing. Project 8 will be the lightest V8 sedan in the Jaguar range.
Mark Stanton, SVO Director, said: “We have really been able to unleash the potential of our engineering and design teams in specifying Project 8. We are at the beginning of a very challenging and exciting development programme which will see us focus on ensuring Project 8 delivers track performance on a level previously not targeted by Jaguar. The SVO team is full of performance car enthusiasts that are now briefed to deliver motorsport science and soul in what is effectively a four-door supercar.”
To ensure optimum performance on road or track, Project 8 endows the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with stiffer springs and manually adjustable Continuously Variable Dampers (giving a 15mm lower ride height for track use), debuts a new Carbon Ceramic Braking system, an industry-first use of Formula 1-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.
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 Sport Steering Wheel, instrument binnacle and door cards. The eight-speed Quickshift transmission can either be operated by aluminium paddle shifters behind the steering wheel or by a central Pistolshift lever – another first for XE.
Project 8 is also the first Jaguar to feature a dedicated Track Mode, which tailors driveline and stability control systems for circuit use, and sharpens both throttle and steering responses for ultimate precision and driver feedback.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 will be available in two specifications at launch. The standard four-seat model features Jaguar’s latest front Performance seats with magnesium frames, plus a more heavily contoured rear squab to maximise support. The optional two-seat Track Pack includes lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats with Four-Point Harnesses fixed to a Harness Retention Hoop in place of the rear seat. All Project 8s will be built in left-hand drive configuration only.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 owners will be able to personalise their car by specifying further optional colours and finishes from the SVO Premium Palette range, which includes 19 colours in tri-coat, tinted clear coat, pearlescent, ChromaFlairTM and satin matte finishes. Race-inspired decal packs, accentuating Project 8’s high-performance attributes, are also available.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 makes its world debut at 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, UK.
BODY DESIGN AND AERODYNAMICS
Jaguar has a rich history of producing stunning, aerodynamically-efficient cars and the standard XE is the most aerodynamic Jaguar ever. The XE SV Project 8 takes that tradition of uncompromised form and function to the next level, with purposeful bodywork revisions by SVO’s design and engineering experts to meet the car’s 200mph performance target.
Project 8’s exterior body panels emphasise the dynamic cab-rearward proportions of the XE’s design, with only the roof and front door skins unaltered. And, there are a number of revisions to the lightweight aluminium-intensive monocoque itself too. Modifications include:
- 55mm flared aluminum rear wing panels, to accommodate 305-width tyres
- Aluminium rear doors reprofiled with more muscular body flare
- Reprofiled boot floor to improve airflow through the rear Diffuser
Lightweight Carbon Fibre material is used extensively throughout the Project 8 body package, which contributes to the lowest kerb weight of any current V8-powered Jaguar sedan, from just 1,745kg. It also helps achieve the desired weight distribution. Carbon Fibre and composite components exclusive to Project 8 are:
- 19mm flared Carbon Fibre front wings with cut-away lower trailing edges, to accommodate 265-width tyres and repositioned Xenon headlamp units
- Front Carbon Fibre Bumper with integrated centre and lower outer grilles for optimised airflow management
- Manually adjustable two-position two-piece Carbon Fibre Front Splitter
- Carbon Fibre Bonnet with integrated air extraction duct, saving 3kg over the standard aluminium part, reducing drag and aiding cooling
- Carbon Fibre lower side skirts
- Rear Carbon Fibre Bumper with drag-reducing airflow management creases and cut-away lower wheelarch trailing edges
- Rear Carbon Fibre Diffuser with quad Titanium Variable Active Exhaust tailpipes
- Manually adjustable two-position single-element Rear Aerodynamic Wing
Extensive rolling road wind tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation testing has refined the aerodynamic package, which includes a Flat Underbody, to achieve a 205 per cent reduction in lift with Front Splitter and Rear Aerodynamic Wing in Track Mode, delivering more than 122kg of downforce at 186mph – 25 per cent more than Project 8’s nearest competitor.
Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director, said: “Project 8 is a performance-driven car. As such, all of the enhancements we’ve made to the XE sports saloon – already a benchmark for dynamics – are established through physics as well as aesthetics. The result is clearly a powerful looking and very fast motor car. The aerodynamic elements are hugely significant beyond 150mph, even more so beyond 180mph. This is one of the most extreme vehicles we have ever created, but still very much a Jaguar.”
Every Jaguar XE SV Project 8 gets unique badges on the Front Splitter and endplates of the Rear Aerodynamic Wing, plus an SVO roundel on the rear panel, while the XE badge can be deleted at no cost.
For clients looking to further individualise their Project 8, the Bespoke by SVO team can offer the opportunity to choose from 10,000 exterior paint hues, plus different accent colours for brake calipers, front grille surround, aerodynamic parts and mirror caps, as well as unique racing-inspired decal packs, anodised paddle shifters, personalised Tread Plates and Commissioning Plaques.
Reflecting the purposeful nature of Project 8, the interior is designed to emphasise the feeling of connection between the driver and the car, with minimal distractions or embellishments. As a result, Project 8 is offered in two derivatives: a four-seat specification as standard, or a more circuit-focused two-seater when specifying the optional Track Pack.
The standard four-seat specification features Jaguar’s latest magnesium-framed front Performance seats with unique Oyster contrast-stitched Premium Jet leather bolsters and Miko suedecloth centres. Project 8 logos are stitched into the headrests.
The rear seats, for two occupants only, are redesigned with additional lateral support built in to the seat squabs and bolsters.
Helping to reduce reflections in the windscreen, black soft-touch Alcantara covers the instrument binnacle and dash topper. The same material is used on the door cards and rim of the Project 8-branded Sports Steering Wheel. Gloss Carbon Fibre detailing, mirroring its use for exterior components, extends to the Project 8-branded Tread Plates, Riva Hoop incorporating ‘1 of 300’ Project 8 aluminium Commission Plaque, and the gear selector surround.
In addition to aluminium gearshift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel, Project 8 features a dippled leather-wrapped Pistolshift lever with Command Shift, giving multiple ways to select the desired ratio from the eight-speed Quickshift transmission.
Giving the driver all the required information on speed, revs and dynamic performance, whether on road or track, Project 8 features the latest Virtual 12.3-inch TFT Instrument Panel Display with full-screen 3D Map View navigation, a 200mph-plus speedometer and Track Mode interface directly behind the steering wheel.
As standard, Project 8 is fitted with tablet-style touchscreen 10.2-inch Touch Pro infotainment featuring Dynamic-i, which adds a stopwatch, g-meter readout and accelerator and braking graphics to the central touchscreen display, and Dual View technology allowing passenger and driver to view different content on the central control screen simultaneously.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 also functions as a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, enabling up to eight devices to connect to the internet, and fully supports Jaguar InControl apps.
The Jaguar InControl Remote app allows users of iOS and Android devices to connect to the car from anywhere using a specially designed app. The technology enables a range of functions, from checking how much fuel is in the tank and unlocking or locking the doors, to seven-day timed pre-setting of the climate control system.
Secure Tracker enhances security by providing proactive vehicle monitoring. Should the Project 8 be stolen, the tracking service can work with police to locate and recover the car.
Protect provides further reassurance: in the unlikely event of a malfunction, it provides optimised Jaguar Assistance, transmitting your location and vehicle diagnostic data to help minimise delays to your journey. Should the unthinkable happen and a collision occurs it will automatically make an SOS call and summon the emergency services.
A superb 380W MeridianTM Sound System developed specifically for the XE features 11 speakers (including subwoofer) and incorporates smart functions such as ‘Play more like this’ which automatically compiles playlists, or Music Queue, which makes it easy to search for and add songs, albums or artists to a music queue while the current track is still playing.
As well as media streaming from smartphones and tablets via two USB ports, Touch Pro offers AM/FM/DAB Radio, Digital TV and Bluetooth. The system also supports satellite radio, and delivers features such as buffering, enabling users to skip back to the start of tracks. A CD/DVD player is a no-cost option.
For serious track use, specifying the optional Track Pack saves 12.2kg by replacing the magnesium-framed front Performance seats with lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats. Like the magnesium-framed seats, the Carbon Fibre items are trimmed in Premium Jet leather and suedecloth, with Project 8 branding on the headrests. Additional Four-Point Harnesses offer ultimate security for track use, and a fire extinguisher system is fitted.
The rear seats and seatbelt assemblies are removed for Track Pack specification, replaced by a Project 8-branded carpeted composite panel and a Harness Retention Hoop.
On the exterior, Track Pack-equipped Project 8s sport a Gloss Black painted roof and longitudinal Project 8 twin-stripe decals.
At the heart of Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is the latest evolution of Jaguar’s well proven 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 modified to give a targeted power output of 600PS and 700Nm – the highest output of any Jaguar road car.
To achieve the outputs required for a 200mph performance sedan, SVO engineers have tuned the engine calibration software and enabled better breathing on both air intake and exhaust sides of the engine.
The air intake system is unique to Project 8 and is optimised to increase airflow efficiency and reduce air circulation and pressure drop within the airbox. It’s fed by ducts in the front Carbon Fibre Bumper moulding.
Project 8 uses a unique lightweight Titanium Variable Active Exhaust designed to provide consistent performance during extended periods of track use. The system exits through the rear diffuser, finishing with quad 89mm tailpipes for a phenomenal snarling soundtrack.
The V8’s cooling system is extensively modified, ensuring stamina and endurance under extreme track conditions and in hot climates. The vent in the Carbon Fibre Bonnet plays an active part in managing underbonnet temperatures too. Located in a low-pressure area, the vent has a dual benefit of reducing drag and helping manage the airflow through the engine compartment by sucking hot air out.
To maximise traction and delivery of the 5.0-litre Supercharged V8’s record levels of power and torque, Project 8 utilises a re-calibrated version of Jaguar’s eight-speed Quickshift All-Wheel Drive system. Capable of selecting gears 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.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 also introduces an Electronic Active Differential (EAD) for the first time on Jaguar’s smallest sports saloon, which 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.
To keep differential temperatures under control, particularly during sustained track use, Project 8 incorporates a differential cooler housed in the rear Diffuser.
Project 8 is also the first Jaguar to get a dedicated Track Mode, which enhances body control and sharpens both throttle and steering responses for ultimate precision, control and driver feedback.
SUSPENSION AND STEERING
With double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension, Project 8 offers outstanding performance with perfect poise, delivering confident handling on all road surfaces. Complementing the powertrain and AWD system is an extensive range of chassis and suspension enhancements developed through an intensive test programme at tracks including Nardo and the Nürburgring Nordschleife. This is the most track-biased programme SVO has ever carried out.
Increasing lateral stiffness is key to Project 8’s range of front and rear axle modifications, which combine to deliver exceptional precision, cornering capability and confidence. New SVO-designed knuckles machined from billet incorporate ultra-high-performance Formula 1-style silicon nitride ceramic bearings which reduce unsprung mass by a total of 840g, increase stiffness, improve steering response and reduce friction. The use of ceramic bearings in this application is an industry-first for road cars from Jaguar Land Rover.
Stiffer suspension bushes complement the new knuckles, while the rear upper control arm assembly uses ball joints instead of bushes. Front and rear anti-roll bars are fine-tuned to maximise grip and traction, while the Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system has been recalibrated with variable damping to offer easy low speed manoeuvrability and precise driver feedback on track.
For ultimate track performance, Jaguar XE SV Project 8 features height-adjustable spring platforms with motorsport-specification coil springs and aluminium-bodied Continuously Variable Dampers and a choice of two ride heights: standard for road and -15mm for track use.
Project 8’s new Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) are a first for Jaguar, incorporating the latest-technology to deliver the highest levels of sustained performance under the most demanding conditions. The Jaguar CCB system, which is different to the Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) componentry fitted to the F-TYPE SVR, consists of 400mm two-piece front discs with six-piston aluminum calipers and 396mm two-piece rear discs with single-piston sliding calipers.
The CCB system offers lower unsprung mass as well as the most consistent pedal feel, fade resistance and longevity. Project 8 also uses motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid (SRF) with an exceptionally high dry boiling point, which is ideal for use under arduous braking.
Jaguar’s Torque Vectoring by Braking technology helps minimise understeer by independently braking inside wheels during cornering, and works with the Electronic Active Differential to precisely control torque delivery to the rear wheels.
Selecting Track Mode activates calibration settings tailored to circuit use for Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, Adaptive Dynamics, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), ABS, Torque Vectoring by Braking and EPAS systems.
WHEELS AND TYRES
Jaguar XE SV Project 8’s wheel and tyre package 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, with high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, the forged aluminium alloy wheels are engineered for light weight and stiffness.