We examine the XE SV Project 8 and its brutally powerful V8 engine now that the camouflage has been removed. Why? To provide you with 10 facts you really need to know, of course.
When Jaguar revealed the XE SV Project 8 prototype we had to put on a bib to try and contain all the dribble. It seems the Special Vehicle Operations department thought the claws of the XE S were too blunt. which is why we are looking at one terrifying kitty.
Jaguar was kind enough to give us a sneaky pre-announcement look at what it describes as ‘the most powerful and extreme performance Jaguar road car ever’ – and it looks even better than we hoped.
These are the facts worth knowing about the F-Type Project 7’s unhinged sibling, including the ridiculous top speed, the weird steering wheel arrangement and what makes it special.
1) It thinks gravity is optional
What else would you expect from a 591.6bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8, if not painfully fast acceleration (0-60mph in 3.3 seconds) and an unnecessarily fast top speed (200mph)? The fact it is a four-door makes it one of the fastest cars on the planet for picking the kids up from school.
2) New factory smell guaranteed
The XE SV Project 8 will be the first car to be hand-built by ‘expert craftsmen’ at Jaguar’s shiny new £20million SVO Technical Centre in Warwickshire. Because nothing justifies a price hike than doing it the old-fashioned, pre-robot way.
3) The steering wheel is in a weird place
Annoyingly the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is a left-swinger only, which means more difficult overtakes. Although you will be round a nervous Sunday driver so fast visibility will be the least of your worries.
4) Bullet holes come free of charge
TVR pioneered the use of bullet holes as a design feature and it seems Jaguar is hoping to bring the style back. We are glad it is, because that front-end makes Mike Tyson look like an IT consultant. Even the fiery orange paint job wants to hurt you, which is exactly what we want from a fast car.
5) You can make it an anti-social two-seater
The optional Track Pack comes with carbon fibre racing seats that are held into place by four-point harnesses and a harness retention hoop where the rear seats would normally be. That makes it less useful for Uber drivers, but it will enhance the performance and heighten its circuit abilities.
6) Pink with white stripes could be possible
Special Vehicle Operations may tell you go fourth and multiply if you ask for a really peculiar modification, but then there are standard 19 paintjobs to choose from, including Fuji White and Valencia Orange, and various decal packs inspired by racing to make your XE SV Project 8 unique, so maybe you won’t have to.
7) No rear-wheel drive here
As fun as it would be endlessly burning through rear tyres, Jaguar has opted for an all-wheel drive system. Although we doubt losing grip will be that much more difficult.
8) There’s a cunningly named new driving mode
Track Mode is a first for any Jaguar. Press it and the XE SV Project 8’s driveline and stability control systems adjust, while the throttle response becomes even more savage. Steering feedback and precision is also improved so you have more chance of brushing the apex. Or dying.
9) You can see it right now
Get your car-loving face down to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which started on the 29th of June and runs until the 2nd of July, 2017, and you can look at the XE SV Project 8 in person. Maybe even touch it, although you will probably upset Jaguar if you get ice cream down the wing mirror.
10) The price is as brutal as the engine
Just 300 of the XE SV Project 8 will be built, which helps justify the big price tag. You should really sit down for this. Each one (before any customisation) costs £149,995 – the price of three of its less powerful XE S sibling. To be fair, anyone who buys one will take to it like a cat to milk.