On the face of it, the XE has no qualification to become the most powerful Jaguar ever. The BMW 3 Series rival is the entry-level sedan of the British car maker. XE joined the portfolio in 2015. And why would you choose XE over the more powerful XF or the flagship XJ sedan in Jaguar's stable?
Chaps at Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) might have thought 'why not'? Meet XE SV Project 8, the most powerful, agile and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever. Limited to just 300 units, XE SV Project 8 is a second collector's Edition by SVO, following the F-Type Project 7 of 2014.
Each unit of the Project 8 will cost £149,995 (around Rs 1.24 crore). That's not a supercar price but it has to be noted that the regular XE is retailed in India for a starting price of just Rs 37.25 lakh. So what makes the XE SV Project 8 special?
Number 1 is the heart. People at SVO chucked the diesel mill and fitted it with a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol powertrain that develops 592bhp (600PS) of power and 700Nm of torque. The sedan also boasts of titanium variable active exhaust, all-wheel drive system and motorsport-derived aerodynamics to deliver a 322kmph top speed and 0-96kmph sprint time of just 3.3 seconds, making Project 8 the fastest accelerating Jaguar yet.
Project 8 gets a number of modifications in the process to become the most track-focused car of SVO. In addition to the lightweight aluminium body panels, the Project 8 comes with 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 a massive adjustable rear aerodynamic wing.
Project 8 marks the debut of new carbon ceramic braking system, an industry-first use of Formula 1-style silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings on a road car. Sedan's suspension has been heavily modified, with stiffer springs and manually adjustable dampers. In addition, the ride height of the sedan can be lowered up to 15mm for track use.
The high-performance theme continues inside cabin, with gloss carbon-fibre and Alcantara touches on the rim of the Project 8 sport steering wheel, instrument binnacle and door cards. Project 8 will be available in two specifications at launch—standard and Track Pack. The latter will eschew rear seats and front pair will be carbon-fibre racing seats with four-point harnesses fixed to a harness retention hoop in place of the rear seat.
But Indian Jaguar fans need not get all too excited as all Project 8s will be built in left-hand drive configuration only.