Supercar killer? Jaguar confirm final spec of 322km/h Project 8
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Jaguar are touting a new pinnacle in the world of performance sedans as the supercharged XE SV Project 8 heads into production promising 'supercar' performance.
After an extensive European and American testing programme, which saw an early model set a new four-door production record around Nurburgring, Jaguar have confirmed the final spec of the most powerful and track-capable car they've ever built.
"We’ve continued to develop and hone the whole car right up to the start of production, to make it even more responsive and to handle even better," said Project 8 Vehicle Dynamics Manager, David Pook.
"The springs are stiffer and so are the engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have changed. The brakes have been refined for the exact pedal feel and performance we want."
“But the biggest changes are to software. They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement."
First customer deliveries are expected in early Q3, 2018, and the limited sedan has been confirmed to land in New Zealand for Jaguar's Art of Performance Tour at the end of the year.
Jaguar say the XE SV Project 8 will offer 'genuine supercar performance' with its supercharged power unit, all-wheel drive traction and purposeful design and performance benefits over the standard XE sedan range.
The 5.0-litre supercharged V8 will produce 441kW at 6500rpm and 700Nm of torque from 3500-5000rpm. Bolted to a 8-speed automatic, capable of changing gear in 200 milliseconds, and all-wheel drive system, the sedan will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds and onto a top speed of over 200mph (322km/h).
Power is delivered to the ground via a performance-focused Electronic Active Differential system that manages torque delivery to each of the rear wheels in conjunction with enhanced large diameter front and rear driveshafts.
Project 8 features a number of modifications to the standard XE’s aluminium bodywork including a new carbon fibre bumper with enhanced cooling ducts, vented carbon fibre bonnet, flared wheelarches covering 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, adjustable front splitter, flat underbody, rear carbon fibre bumper with integrated diffuser and an adjustable rear wing. These developments make Project 8 the lightest V8 sedan in the Jaguar range.
Project 8 enhances the XE’s double-wishbone front and Integral Link rear suspension with redesigned front uprights, two-piece upper wishbones, plus motorsport-derived ball joints and twin springs (height-adjustable for a 15mm lower ride on track). Project 8’s all-new Carbon Ceramic Brakes system features 400mm two-piece front discs with six-piston aluminium calipers, 396mm two-piece rear discs and uses motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid.
It is available either as a four-seater or in lightweight two-seat Track Pack configuration. Specifying the optional Track Pack saves 12.2kg by replacing the magnesium-framed front seats with lightweight front Carbon Fibre Racing Seats, and increases torsional rigidity by 27 per cent with a roll cage.
The Track Pack also includes Four-Point Harnesses, a fire extinguisher system and Project 8-branded carpeted panel and a Harness Retention Hoop in place of the rear seats.
The wheel and tyre package of the Project 8 is the largest ever fitted to a production Jaguar sports sedan. Measuring 9.5 x 20-inch at the front and 11 x 20-inch at the rear, the forged aluminium alloy wheels are fitted with bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres fitted as standard.
Project 8 is also first Jaguar to feature a dedicated Track Mode, which in its most most extreme setting delivers 122kg of downforce at 300km/h – 25 per cent more than its closest rival.
Project 8 is available in eight body colour choices – three standard colours: Fuji White, Narvik Black and Caldera Red, and five SV Design options - Valencia Orange, Velocity Blue, Meribel White, Verbier Silver and Corris Grey. Track Pack Project 8s can be spotted with a Gloss Black painted roof and Project 8 twin-stripe exterior decals.
Project 8 costs from £149,995 (NZ$290,000), but unfortunately for Kiwis, it's unlikely any customer cars will land in New Zealand. The XE SV Project 8 is limited to 300 units, all of which will he left-hand drive, ruling the New Zealand market out of the mix.
“With Project 8 we set out to deliver a fast, fun and engaging car that encourages you to explore its performance," said Special Vehicle Operations Director, Mark Stanton.
"The power delivery and gear shifts of Project 8 are the most visceral we have ever delivered on a Jaguar. Rest assured, no stone has been left unturned in our mission to make this the most rewarding Jaguar driver’s car ever.”