Jaguar Fine Tunes XE SV Project 8 Ahead of Summer Production
Jaguar indicates record-breaking 7-minute 21.23-second Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time could be improved upon.
Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations announced fine-tuning on the world’s fastest road-going sedan has almost finished, ahead of production starting in June. Since its public debut at last July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has undergone numerous enhancements to ensure it remains the fastest and most thrilling of all road-legal four-door sedans.
“The fastest high-performance sedan in the world just keeps getting better,” said John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director. “The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 development team at Special Vehicle Operations keep pushing boundaries – the drive to do that is in our designers’ and engineers’ blood.”
The Project 8 is a four-door car with genuine supercar performance. Top speed is 200mph and 0-60mph acceleration takes just 3.4 seconds1. In November, it set a new four-door production-intent sedan record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife – the ‘gold’ standard for all-around high performance. Its fastest lap of 7 minutes 21.23 seconds was quicker than many supercars, and broke the old four-door record by more than 10 seconds2.
“With Project 8 we set out to deliver a fast, fun and engaging car that encourages you to explore its performance,” said Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director. “Our lap record at the Nürburgring proves we have achieved that, but now we believe we can go faster. We’re continually honing every functional aspect of the car, focusing on marginal gains to make it even quicker yet still accessible to drive.”
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With a 592hp version of the legendary supercharged Jaguar 5.0-liter V8, the XE SV Project 8 is the most powerful Jaguar road car to date. No more than 300 of these limited-edition cars will be made; all hand-built by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations at its Technical Center in Coventry.
“The good thing about building only 300 cars, all hand-made, is that you can keep developing the car right up to the start of production,” said David Pook, Project 8 Vehicle Dynamics Manager. “And we’ve done just that. The springs have got stiffer and so have the engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have changed. The brakes have been refined for the exact pedal feel and performance we want. This has all been done to make the car even more responsive and to handle even better.
“But the biggest changes are to software. They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement,” Pook continued. “We keep honing the whole car, relentlessly. We’re never really happy. 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.”
Unlike most high performance production sedans, the all-wheel drive XE SV Project 8 is studded with genuine motor racing technology. This includes, as standard, adjustable ride height, adjustable camber, an adjustable front splitter and rear wing, a flat underbody, a differential oil cooler, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 road-legal track tires on forged 20-inch wheels – a production car first – and ceramic wheel bearings similar to those used in grand prix cars.
The front uprights, two-part upper wishbones, ball joints in place of rubber bushings, twin coil springs, dampers, lower suspension bushings, rollover protection system4 and latest specification carbon ceramic brakes are all new and bespoke to the XE SV Project 8. The only carryover body components from the standard XE are the roof and front door skins, both made from aluminum. The vented hood and flared front fenders and bumpers are made from lightweight carbon fiber.
The result of this state-of-the-art technology is improved driver feel, sharper handling responses and exceptional durability, allowing repeated high-speed track driving4.
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In its most extreme settings, and in ‘Track’ mode, Project 8 delivers almost 269 lbs. of downforce at 186mph1. The Project 8 is the first Jaguar to offer a Track mode, standard on both North American spec and global spec versions, which tailors driveline and stability control systems for circuit use by sharpening throttle and steering responses and tuning the dampers to their most aggressive setting4.
“Power delivery and gear shifts are the most visceral we have ever offered on a Jaguar – every 1/100th of a second improvement in shift time adds up over a complete lap of the Nürburgring,” said Mark Stanton, Special Vehicle Operations Director. “Rest assured, no stone has been left unturned in our mission to make this the most rewarding Jaguar driver’s car ever.”
Two versions of the Project 8 are available globally. The four-seat version available in North America contains all the motorsport technology that is the hallmark of Project 8. In markets outside of the U.S., there is a two-seat Track Pack version that saves almost 27 lbs. in weight and includes carbon fiber racing seats, as well as four-point safety harnesses. In place of the back seat is a solid metal panel and Harness retention hoop, which helps boost torsional rigidity by 27 percent over the four-seat version.
The XE SV Project 8 is priced from $187,500 in the U.S. It is the second Collector’s Edition Jaguar from Special Vehicle Operations, after the 2014 Jaguar F-TYPE Project 7. Deliveries begin this summer.