DESIGN Aluminium body architecture, a compact four-door body and poised stance make the XE a great base for SVO’s 5.0-litre V8 transplant. To give it extra downforce and stability at speeds of up to 200mph, the XE SV Project 8 gets an adjustable carbon-fibre front splitter, rear diffuser and a large adjustable rear aero wing. Buyers of the road-going version might prefer the more subtle fixed spoiler. Inside, the track version features two carbon-fibre racing seats with four-point harnesses and a harness retention hoop in place of the rear seats. Alternatively, the four-seater touring version features four seats trimmed in Ebony leather with Oyster contrast stitching, with the driver and front-seat passenger ensconced in magnesium-framed Performance seats.
PERFORMANCE With 600PS from a 5.0 litre Supercharged V8 engine, Project 8 lays a claim to be the most powerful road legal Jaguar in history. The power is distributed to all four wheels via a rear-biased eight-speed transmission. Gearshifts take 0.2 seconds; 0-60mph is over in an eye-blink at just 3.0 seconds and top speed is 200mph. Ball-jointed damper mounts improve response and there are two ride heights – one for the road and a 15mm lower setting for the track.
TECHNOLOGY As exclusivity is part of the SVO ethos, you can specify your XE SV Project 8 with a host of options, including a sumptuous 825-Watt Meridian Sound System. The Touch Pro infotainment screen is intuitive to use, and the graphics are crisp; you probably won’t want to be tweaking the audio settings on track days, but for road trips a good infotainment system makes all the difference to your comfort and security. Specific technology for the Project 8 includes a tuned version of Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics that includes a new Track Mode. Select this, and the driver instrumentation turns a pulse-quickening red.
SAFETY All XE SV Project 8 models feature huge 400mm carbon ceramic discs with 6-piston callipers up front – essential kit for a 200mph four-door supercar. Meanwhile it gets all the standard XE’s safety systems, which include automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist and a driver condition monitor. Traffic Sign Recognition, Adaptive Speed Limiter and Adaptive Cruise Control are all useful safety aids on the road, rather less so if you’re trying to match the Project 8’s record-setting 7:21.23 time around the Nürburgring.