Monterey Car Week is becoming more and more of a touchstone for the entire gearhead world. It’s not just vintage races and fans and collectors and such any longer. Automotive manufacturers have clocked into the heavy concentration of not just car fanatics, but movers and shakers within the automotive world. People who will not only sing your praises, if there are praises worth singing, but high-end influencers who can start talking up your product.
Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) will be in Monterey this week for just such an exercise with the XE SV Project 8.
Best of the Best
Unless you attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed, this will be the first chance for anyone outside the factory to see the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 in the flesh, as it were. To refresh your memory, since we have coveted . . . I mean “covered” it here at Automoblog before, it’s a limited edition sports sedan that is, more or less, aimed squarely at the big Bahn-burners from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. The case could be made that it is also going up against various Japanese and American offerings, but I’d bet Jag would think the comparison was beneath them. As a matter of fact, although taking aim at the big Germans in implicate, Jaguar never mentions them by name either.
Jaguar states the XE SV Project 8 is the result of the Coventry concern wanting to “engineer the ultimate super sports sedan.” It’s good to have goals, but I bet there’s some very competent engineers in and around The Black Forest who might quibble with that statement. As it stands, the XE SV Project 8 builds on Jaguar’s success with the 2016 F-TYPE Project 7. The Project 7 sets the tone for the XE SV Project 8 and other examples in the brand’s second Collector’s Series of vehicles yet to come.
Power & Performance
The XE SV Project 8 has a targeted power output of 592 horsepower, which is more than enough to make it the quickest road going Jaguar. I was going to write “quickest road going Jaguar sedan” but no, Jaguar insists it is the quickest road going Jaguar period. Which is odd, knowing the XJ220 was capable of going much quicker than the XE SV Project 8’s announced top speed of 200 mph.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 hits that speed due to other elements besides nearly 600 ponies under the bonnet. There’s lots of functional aerodynamic, suspension, and interior improvements to the XE, making it “the brand’s most powerful, agile, and extreme performance vehicle ever.” Jag will not be making a ton of these things with global production limited to 300 units. Each car will be hand-assembled at the SVO technical center in Coventry, England (natch).
Senior representatives from Jaguar’s SVO skunkworks will be on hand at a variety of events in Monterey throughout the weekend, both to answer questions and help potential buyers put down deposits and such. In addition to being at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, the XE SV Project 8 will also be at two other rather prestigious events: The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering and the Exotics On Cannery Row.
The get together at The Quail Lodge, now gag-inducingly titled “The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering,” will have the XE SV Project 8 on display this Friday, August 18th. It will be easy to spot, sitting next to Jag SVO’s first go round, the 575 horsepower F-TYPE SVR. If you’re not into Jags per se, but find yourself at The Quail anyway, have no fear. There will be more than 200 other rare automobiles and motorcycles in the “exclusive garden-party setting” of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club. The event runs from 10:00am until 4:00pm and although I am a professional and cannot say what you should do in such a setting, I know what I would do.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 can also be seen at Exotics on Cannery Row. This is a free public event, meaning you can rub shoulders with the great unwashed masses. Exotics on Cannery Row showcases some of the “rarest and most exciting supercars of our time,” whatever might count as “rarest and most.” Without a sense of irony, Jag notes the Exotics on Cannery Row will happen “against the backdrop of Monterey’s historic downtown.” A previously lower socio-economic working class fishing port written about by Steinbeck before being gentrified into near-oblivion decades ago. But hey . . .
Exotics on Cannery Row runs from 3:00pm until 8:00pm, this Friday August 18th.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias toward lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.
Photos & Source: Jaguar Land Rover.