Jaguar's XE SV Project 8 is its most powerful road auto ever
Jaguar's XE SV Project 8 is its most powerful road auto ever
Coming to a track near you
29 June, 2017, 08:53
A range of modifications has been fitted to the vehicle, including a titanium exhaust, a vented carbon-fibre bonnet and 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels. Components such as the hood, front and rear bumpers, front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser are all made from the lightweight composite. "We are at the beginning of a very challenging and exciting development programme which will see us focus on ensuring Project 8 delivers track performance on a level previously not targeted by Jaguar".
Manually adjustable suspension and aerodynamics make the Project 8 hugely appealing to well-heeled track day enthusiasts. The auto further debuts a new carbon ceramic braking system, an industry-first use of Formula 1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road vehicle, and incorporates a rear electronic active differential (EAD) with oil cooler. It's also the first Jaguar with a specific Track Mode.
Ironically, the SVO team has some bad news for British petrol heads: Jaguar will only make the auto in left-hand drive configuration. A brief glance is enough to notice the unique front bumper and bonnet, both perforated by gaping ventilation holes, but the orange livery conceals that both are made from carbon-fibre.
All of the car's fury is put down to the road via an all-wheel-drive system paired to an 8-speed transmission for rapid shifting through the gears with stopping power taken care of by carbon ceramic untis. It is the first XE to feature an electronic active differential, which works with the Intelligent Drive Dynamics to manage torque delivery to the rear axle of the four-wheel drive system.
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Inside, air conditioning keeps the driver cool during track days. To create the appropriate ambience, the cabin is decked out with generous helpings of Gloss Carbon Fibre and Alcantara trim. Since you can't listen to the car's titanium exhaust all the time, there's a Meridian sound system with 11 speakers available, as well. All models will also be left-hand drive only, even those sold in the UK. The standard four-seat model features Jaguar's front performance seats with magnesium frames and a heavily contoured rear squab to maximize support.
Now the downside. In the U.S., the Project 8 auto will be offered with four seats inside. All cars destined for North America will be four-seat models but in select European markets, customers can spec a much more hardcore cabin with carbon fiber racing seats up front and a roll cage where the rear seats would typically go.
Only 300 examples of the Project 8 will be built, all in left-hand drive, and though USA pricing has yet to be announced, at today's exchange rate, the United Kingdom pricing of £149,995 equates to somewhere just north of $192,000.
Designer Wayne Burgess says he was inspired by the Lancia Delta Integrale rally vehicle as a kid, and there's certainly a brutal, racecar-like functionality to Project 8's body addenda.
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