Nurburgring and heavy cars (like sedans and crossovers) never could be mentioned in the same sentence. After all, when on the Green Hell, a car needs to be quick, fast, light, and agile. Those adjectives don’t fit sedans and crossovers all at once, right? Well, here’s flipping a bird to those thoughts with the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. You can also call it the fastest sedan around the Green Hell which it navigated in just 7:21.23 minutes. That time makes it faster around the Green Hell against the likes of Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren 12C, Nissan GT-R, Pagani Zonda F, and even the Porsche Carrera GT. Isn’t the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 a car worth talking about?
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 – Photo Gallery
What’s new about the Jaguar XE SV Project 8?
Outside of the name, which is quite a mouthful, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is quite different from the regular XE. Different enough to have carbon fibre parts. Yes, the car’s bumpers, side skirts, and hood/bonnet are carbon fibre pieces. With most body panels being made of aluminium, the XE SV Project 8 is quite light. However, it has adjustable front splitter and rear wing, flat underbody, and a rear diffuser to help it stick to the ground. The aerodynamic bits help the car generate 122kg downforce at 298kmph (186mph).
Some firsts also make it to the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. It debuts carbon ceramic brakes, manually adjustable dampers, silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings, and electronic active differential with oil cooler. All these bits work in unison with the Project 8’s drivetrain that has a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 making 600HP power and 700Nm torque mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox with all-wheel drive.
To make the most of these new bits, the car has a new Track mode. All in all, this car isn’t just light but powerful too. The result is 0-100kmph sprint in 3.7 seconds, 320kmph (200mph) top speed, and 9kmpl (18mpg) fuel consumption figure. The car has undergone some dimensional changes too. Length has increased to 4,714mm, height up to 1,436mm (1,421mm for track use), and weight has gone up to 1,745kg. The weight penalty is likely a result of the V8 engine resting under the bonnet.
Talking about the interior, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 can be had as either a two-seater (Track Pack) or a four-seater (Standard). In Standard form, the car has magnesium-framed performance seats up front with ‘Project 8’ logo stitched into their headrests. Alcantara covers the top dash to prevent reflections. Alcantara can also be found on door cards and steering wheel. Carbon fibre trim pieces can be found around the gear selector, tread plates, and surround for ‘x of 300’ Project 8 commissioning plaque.
The driver is greeted by a 12.3-inch digital TFT instrument cluster with 3D map view navigation, and Track Mode interface. Adoring the centre dash is a 10.2-inch Touch Pro infotainment screen in the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. It now features a stopwatch, g-meter readout, accelerator and braking graphics, and Dual View tech. The last bit helps driver and passenger view different content on the screen at the same time.
The car has 4G wi-fi hotspot and offers connected car features via InControl app. This app shows the amount of fuel in car’s tank, pre-set the automatic climate control system, and remotely lock/unlock the car. A Secure Tracker feature helps you track your XE SV Project 8 if it ever gets stolen. Opting for the Track Pack will offer you even more.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Track Pack saves 12.2kg over the Standard car by offering Carbon fibre front seats and removing the rear ones altogether. More additions come in the form of four-point seat belts and a fire extinguisher. A carpeted composite panel and four-point harness retention hoop replaces the rear seats. On the outside, the Track Pack cars get gloss black painted roof and Project 8-specific twin-stripe decals. Lastly, it sits 15mm closer to the ground than the non-Track Pack car.
Is the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 worth consideration?
Here’s a hiccup – the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 production run was limited to 300 units. That said, however, you can still get it from private buyers and collectors. Why would a collector part with such a car? There are two reasons for this assumption.
Firstly, selling a two-seater, impractical sports car is easy. If you were in the market to get a collectible car, would you buy a Jaguar XE SV Project 8 over the Pagani Zonda F? Second, for all its inherent goodness, how many people can you convince to buy an XE SV Project 8 over a Mercedes-AMG C63? Though Jaguar SVO is no small name, it’s no match for something like Mercedes-AMG right now. But that may change quite soon.
Let’s also talk about a few other issues. First off, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8’s infotainment unit has been criticized enough to not be talked about here. The car is based on pre-facelift XE which had a not-so-praiseworthy infotainment unit.
Second, outside of a race track, you would have to live with a car with body and suspension so stiff that you will avoid taking any roads with even slight bumps. Running and maintenance costs will not be cheap either. Good luck convincing your better half to ride shotgun with you after only one stint in the car.
Now, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is not as practical as the regular XE. Looking at it in that light is doing the car a great disservice. The Project 8 proves sedans still have a long way to go before crossovers replace them. It is a reminder that sedans can teach supercars and GTs a trick or two about being fast and agile.
Most importantly, it proves that Jaguar is the name to go with if you want a car that is fundamentally great to drive. After all, that is what made you fall in love with driving in the first place, isn’t it?
Jaguar XE SV Project 8 – Specs at a Glance
|Specifications||Jaguar XE SV Project 8|
|Price||US $1,87,500 onward (approx Rs 1.29 crore at current exchange rate|
|Engine||Supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol|
|Transmission||8-speed Quickshift automatic|
|Front Suspension||Independent, double wishbone with manually-adjustable Continuously Variable Dampers|
|Rear Suspension||Independent, Integral Link with manually-adjustable Continuously Variable Dampers|
|Front Brakes||400mm carbon ceramic discs with six-piston sliding calipers|
|Rear Brakes||396mm carbon ceramic discs with single piston sliding caliper|
|Fuel Consumption||9 km/l|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||N/A|
Note – Jaguar has come out with a Touring edition of the XE SV Project 8. It features a front splitter and does away with the big wing in favour of a bootlid spoiler. Its top speed is limited to 187mph (299.2kmph). It will be offered with four seats only. The Jaguar and stripe decals will be optional extras. Only 15 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Touring spec cars will be made.