First seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2017, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 will have a production run limited to just 300 examples, and we have snapped it in full glory as it rocketed along Germany’s Nurburgring race track.
A small cat with massive muscle, the XE SV Project 8 is the most powerful street-legal car ever created by Jaguar. The road-searing sedan is part of the Collectors’ Edition series from the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division and follows the F-Type Project 7 from 2014.
But while it’s the second release in the exclusive line, the XE SV Project 8 presents many firsts for the brand. Giving the four-door ferocity its brawn is a 591bhp, 5-litre supercharged V8. The engine makes its debut in a Jaguar that is not restricted to the track. The powertrain can launch the all-wheel-drive model from zero to 100 kmph in 3.3 seconds and enables a top speed of 320kmph.
Also making those metrics possible is an 8-speed automatic transmission that can transition between gears in 200 milliseconds and be accessed from aluminium paddle shifters as well as a centrally located lever.
Performance is further boosted by Project 8’s electronic active differential and a suspension with greater lateral stiffness for more precise response. Other cutting-edge contributors to the enhanced handling include Formula 1-inspired, silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings – a world-first on a road-purposed vehicle – and a new carbon ceramic braking system.
Complementing Project 8’s engineering is its mostly aluminium monocoque construction, aerodynamic body design, and weight-minimizing materials. Carbon fibre and composite comprise the hood (with an air extraction duct to decrease drag and increase cooling), the flared front wings, the front splitter, the front and rear bumpers, the side skirts, and the rear diffuser and wing.
The XE SV Project 8 is only available in left-hand drive and comes standard with a four-seat set-up. It can also be ordered, however, with two carbon-fibre seats sporting a four-point harness system. Creature comforts within the cabin include a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment display, iOS and Android connectivity, and an 11-speaker Meridian sound system.