Jaguar XE SV Project 8

Jaguar XE SV Project 8: Look Out Everyone! (Especially Germans)

  • The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has set a new record at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
  • The XE SV Project 8 features a supercharged V8 with 592 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque.
  • At nearly $200,000 is this actually worth it? Other cars make similar numbers but will cost less.

Jaguar is trucking their big, bad XE SV Project 8 sedan to tracks around the world and letting it smash old lap records to dust. The latest victim, er, stage is the glorious Laguna Seca just south of San Francisco.

Jaguar says the XE SV Project 8 is “supercar-rivaling” and in a lot of ways, they aren’t far off the mark.

So how fast did the latest big cat sedan go? Very.

Supercar Rival

Thus far, on a number of other tracks, the big Jag rightfully claims to be the world’s fastest four-door car. And cracking off a number like seven minutes, 21.23 seconds at the Nürburgring Nordschleife means I’m not going to argue the point much. Of course, people like BMW and Audi and Alfa Romeo might. But we’ll have to save those fun arguments for another time.

Or, at least until BMW, Audi, and Alfa Romeo etc. start putting their own lap times on the leader board.

Jaguar says the XE SV Project 8 is the most extreme Jaguar yet. Not Jag sedan, just “the most extreme Jaguar” period. Which is saying a lot. And, with that time at the ‘ring, which is around what a Ferrari 488GTB can turn, I’m not going to say they’re talking out of school with this stuff.

So what’d she do down at Laguna anyway?

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 1
Photo: Jaguar Land Rover.

Plenty Fast

With North American Touring Car Champion Randy Pobst at the helm, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 turned a 1 minute 37.54 second time at the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca. But, with a driver like that at the controls, 600 horsepower on tap, and a 200 mph top speed, it’s easy to see how this was going to shake out.

Jag says the new numbers are almost a second faster than any previous production sedan record. This includes cars like the Cadillac CTS V, Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, and the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Sedan. In case you’re wondering, that’s also just as fast as Nissan GT-Rs, Porsche Cayman GT4s, BMW M4 GTSs, Chevy Camaro SS 1LEs, and Porsche 911 Turbos. All have turned times in the 37s. So yeah, this Jag is plenty fast.

Power & Performance

The XE SV Project 8 sedan is an all-wheel drive beast of a car, featuring F1-style ceramic wheel bearings with adjustable ride height and camber. The front and rear fenders are widened to accommodate the bigger wheels and brakes. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. The transmission is an eight-speed Quickshift automatic ZF piece. The whole shee-bang hits 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, topping out at an electronically-limited (boo!) speed of 200 mph.

At the flip of a switch, there’s a Track mode for maximum downforce and damping, and throttle and steering response.

As it turns out, there’s two specifications available. The standard four-seat model with the latest magnesium framed front performance seats, and the optional two-seat Track Pack version. That one includes lightweight carbon fiber racing seats, four-point harnesses, and a harness retention hoop in place of the rear seat.

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 2
Photo: Jaguar Land Rover.

If Looks Could Kill

The Jaguar Se SV Project 8 is appended with a slew of lightweight and go-fast goodies. There’s a carbon fiber bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, a vented carbon fiber hood, and flared bodywork. The underbody is flat, there’s a rear diffuser, and the rear bumper is made from carbon fiber. The wheels are big 20-inch forged aluminum alloy bits and the front splitter is adjustable as is the rear aerodynamic wing.

The interior is, unsurprisingly, also festooned with go-fast goodies, or at least trim, as well. There’s Gloss Carbon Fiber trim here and there and Alcantara on the steering wheel, instrument, and door panels. That eight-speed Quickshift transmission can be actuated by aluminum paddle shifters or by the central “Pistolshift” lever. Jaguar says that “Pistolshift” lever is another first, but not if you’ve driven Mopar products from the 1960s. Nice try chaps.

For us at least, the Project 8 is available exclusively as a four-seat model, but the XE SV Project 8 is available in two specifications. The standard four-seat model with the latest magnesium framed front performance seats is what we get in the U.S., but other markets get an optional two-seat Track Pack version which includes lightweight carbon fiber racing seats, four-point harnesses, and a harness retention hoop in place of the rear seat.

All Project 8 models will be built in left-hand drive configuration only, but that doesn’t really balance out that we don’t get the two-seater if you ask me.

Pricing & Availability

The Project 8 is priced from £149,995 in the UK. That’s just shy of 200-large in good old greenback dollars. Each XE SV Project 8 is hand-built at the SV Technical Centre in Coventry. The total production run is just 300 cars.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me will be available soon. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

Photos & Source: Jaguar Land Rover.