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441kW Jaguar XE SV Project 8 makes the BMW M3 look tame

Jaguar has unveiled what it says is the most powerful, agile and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever – the 441kW, 322km/h XE SV Project 8 sedan.

Hand-built by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, the XE SV Project 8 packs a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine with Titanium Variable Active Exhaust. Matched with an all-wheel drive system, it is capable of hurling the supersedan from 0-100km/h in a mere 3.7 seconds, making the Project 8 the fastest accelerating Jaguar yet.

Fundamental to the performance of the most track-focused car SVO has ever produced, Project 8 features a number of purposeful modifications to the XE’s lightweight aluminium body panels, including: Carbon Fibre Bumper with enhanced Cooling Ducts, vented Carbon Fibre Bonnet, flared bodywork covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable Front Splitter, Flat Underbody, rear Carbon Fibre Bumper, rear Diffuser and adjustable Rear Aerodynamic Wing.

Jaguar says the Project 8 will be the lightest V8 sedan in the Jaguar range.

To ensure optimum performance on road or track, Project 8 endows the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with stiffer springs and manually adjustable Continuously Variable Dampers (giving a 15mm lower ride height for track use), debuts a new Carbon Ceramic Braking system, an industry-first use of Formula 1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car, and incorporates a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD) with oil cooler – a first for XE.

The high-performance theme continues inside, with subtle applications of Gloss Carbon Fibre trim as well as Alcantara, on the rim of the Project 8 Sport Steering Wheel, instrument binnacle and door cards. The eight-speed Quickshift transmission can either be operated by aluminium paddle shifters behind the steering wheel or by a central Pistolshift lever – another first for XE.

Project 8 is also the first Jaguar to feature a dedicated Track Mode, which tailors driveline and stability control systems for circuit use

Project 8 will be available in two specifications at launch. The standard four-seat model features Jaguar’s latest front Performance seats with magnesium frames, plus a more heavily contoured rear squab to maximise support. The optional two-seat Track Pack includes lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats with Four-Point Harnesses fixed to a Harness Retention Hoop in place of the rear seat.

Sadly, all 300 Project 8s will be built in left-hand drive configuration only, meaning you won’t see any of them on Aussie roads. Prices start from £149,995 in the UK.

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