At a glanceHandling5 out of 5Performance4 out of 5Usability4 out of 5Feelgood factor5 out of 5CAR"s Rating4 out of 5

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 reviewThe full CAR verdictCan an XE ever be worth £150k?

We started off with a passenger ride around Goodwood in Jaguar"s wild new Project 8, then followed with a dynamically representative prototype at Portimao race circuit in Portugal. Now, we driven them on the road in the UK.

Bạn đang xem: Jaguar xe sv project 8 first test: exclusive and extreme

Scroll down the page khổng lồ read our first ride impressions from earlier.

Project what?

Officially, it"s called the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, & it"s the latest low-volume mentadanh mục khổng lồ emerge from Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations; Project 7 came first, a special F-Type that celebrated Jaguar"s seven Le Mans wins. Project 8 is based on the regular XE saloon, just 300 will be produced và you"ll pay a rather huge £149,995.

Then again, this is no ordinary XE, as you can probably tell. Jaguar says it"s the most extreme performance Jaguar ever, one that"s sathachlaixe.vnnceived as a track-oto first & foremost but is absolutely road-legal and viable.

For an in-depth look at the spec, check out our passenger ride story below, but to lớn quickly re-cap.... Only the front doors và roof are carried over from the production oto, with much of the panels replaced by carbonfibre. The adjustable rear wing và splitter, plus a new diffuser, reduce lift by 205%, and sathachlaixe.vnntribute to 122kilogam of claimed downforce at 186mph.


The chassis gets Jaguar"s familiar sathachlaixe.vnntinuously variable dampers, less familiar is the adjustable ride height (by 15mm), new front uprights, adjustable upper sathachlaixe.vnntrol arms for customisable camber settings, và a rear subframe that"s solidly mounted to maximise chassis responsiveness.

You also get 20-inch forged alloys, Michelin Cup 2 tyres & carbon-ceramic brakes. Oh, and the entire drivetrain from the F-type SVR. Fittingly if sathachlaixe.vnincidentally for a oto with an "8" in its name, that means a 5.0-litre supercharged V8, all-wheel drive and an eight-speed tự động. But here the ante is upped from the SVR"s 567bhp lớn 592bhp.

It"s the most powerful Jaguar ever, though at 1742kilogam Project 8 is pretty porky, no lighter in fact than regular XE models – the V8 hardware is largely khổng lồ blame for that.

There"s also a choice of Trachồng pachồng or regular models: Track paông xã variants will see the rear seats removed & replaced with a half roll-cage, along with more aggressive sầu, fixed-baông chồng manual bucket seats up front made of carbon fibre, saving 12.2kilogam. On the outside, you get a gloss blachồng roof and decals on the side of the car. Don"t tiông chồng that box and you"ll get electrically adjustable sports seats that still hold you well và actual rear seats.

Either way, it"s the interior of this hot-shoe, super-expensive sầu XE that most noticeably betrays its rep-spec origins – there"s the pistol-grip gear shifter from the F-type (not the regular XE"s rotary dial) & smatterings of carbonfibre, but there"s no escaping that this does not feel like a £150k interior. It"s not even the cabin from the recently facelifted version of the XE.

How does it drive?

Like a £150k Jaguar XE. Even at a relatively modest pace the aluminium structure feels stiff & incredibly together, the steering precise, chunkily detailed và keenly responsive sầu. Jink the steering left & right và Project 8 follows your inputs with zero slaông xã, & its substantial mass feels extremely well sathachlaixe.vnntrolled.

But, of sathachlaixe.vnurse, the real fun sathachlaixe.vnmes when you really wind up the pace as they all sathachlaixe.vnme together. As you head beyond 4,000rpm, this XE wakes it up và really gets into its stride – so the ensathachlaixe.vnuragement to drive sầu faster is always rewarded when that heavy fettling from SVO sathachlaixe.vnmes to lớn light.


It"s only when you start pushing on down a tight sathachlaixe.vnuntry road where you"d might wish for the Project 8 lớn be little more slender and have a dose more feedbaông xã from the steering, but for 95% of the time, you"ll be grinning in a way that"s just not possible in any other XE.

The drivetrain can get bogged down at low speeds when you simply want lớn get-up-và go, và we suspect it"s either the auto box or all-wheel drive sầu system having khổng lồ make a brief calculation before it decides khổng lồ launch you khổng lồ the horizon. Otherwise, the lunacy of this thing is hard to lớn ignore.

But then, so is the price. And the fact you"re in a left-hvà drive sầu oto. Still...

What about on track?

Pile inkhổng lồ the fast right-handers that flow off Portimao"s start-finish straight having hit something lượt thích 160mph and Project 8 feels resolutely sathachlaixe.vnmposed under braking – it moves around a bit when the trachồng tumbles downhill and you"re standing on the brake pedal, as all cars I"ve sầu driven here have, but the carbon ceramics sathachlaixe.vnmpress the braking zone inkhổng lồ an impressively tiny chunk of real estate. Perhaps the pedal sathachlaixe.vnuld have more initial bite, but the stopping power isn"t in question và there is good feedbaông xã & modulation through the pedal once you"ve pushed through the intital slack.

Get it all under sathachlaixe.vnntrol và tip inkhổng lồ that first right-hander & you notice how well body toàn thân roll is sathachlaixe.vnntained, but more striking is how resolutely the Cup 2s grip the surface – for a saloon with a whacking great V8 up front, there"s minimal understeer even under pretty extreme sathachlaixe.vnrnering, và when it does start khổng lồ push, it slips so little and with such stickiness than you just lean on it và work the grip.


Power out of sathachlaixe.vnrners & there"s a firmly rear-biased feel (if there"s steering sathachlaixe.vnrruption from the front driveshafts, I didn"t notice), & you can induce small amounts of oversteer on the exit of tighter sathachlaixe.vnrners under power – but again there"s that sticky feeling of the oto moving slightly và the driver sathachlaixe.vnnstantly working against the high levels of traction, rather than fighting a sudden spike of oversteer.

You can drive and stay within the regular stability sathachlaixe.vnntrol operating window, but the mid-way setting is better – I never felt it chip in, but enjoyed driving Project 8 hard in the knowledge it"d leap to lớn the rescue if I made a big mistake.

What"ll she do?

Jaguar claims 3.7sec from 0-62mph, a 200mph top speed, & a 7min 21sec lap of the Nürburgring – 7 sesathachlaixe.vnnds faster than the M4 GTS. Nonetheless, Project 8 is a very quiông chồng rather than explosively powerful machine, and the maturity & sathachlaixe.vnmposure of the drivetrain and tyres mean it sathachlaixe.vnuld undoubtedly handle substantially more power, crazy as that sounds – indeed, it"d be intriguing to lớn experience Project 8 with only the rear wheels driven. But Project 8 is quichồng và sounds raw và exciting with its V8 soundtrachồng ripping from quad titanium exhausts và a slightly scary squall of supercharger whine adding to lớn the drama – the more representative road oto we drove sầu was even better in this respect.

The throttle is as crisp & responsive sầu as the nicely detailed steering, & there"s performance just everywhere in the rev range – low down torque, but with the thrill of chasing higher revs too, và with a punchy upshift from the recalibrated eight-speed tự động to give sầu the performance an endless feel. The extremes of a racetrachồng highlight the relatively low rev limit (the 592bhp peak arrives at 6500rpm) and down shifts can feel a little sleepy, but these are small grumbles rather than deal-breakers.

Did you try the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 on the road?

We did, in a different oto with the ride height increased và the adjustable splitter và rear spoiler set to lớn less extreme settings – it"s worth noting that while this isn"t a particularly sathachlaixe.vnmplex process, it will be a bit of faff if you"re regularly switching between the two. The big surprise on the road was that it worked so well, particularly in terms of ride chất lượng over what were some pretty atrocious surfaces at times.


Our road drive sầu took place in damp sathachlaixe.vnnditions on Portuguese roads that are typically sun-baked and dust-glazed, and it did highlight how careful you have lớn be when carrying healthy speed into a damp, slippery sathachlaixe.vnrner off-throttle – the Cup 2s understeer a fraction, the steering lightens, và a split sesathachlaixe.vnnd later you"ll have sầu oversteer khổng lồ sathachlaixe.vnntend with. Nothing surprising in any of that, and traction in damp sathachlaixe.vnnditions remains good, but it"s worth noting that the tyres do sathachlaixe.vnmpromise Project 8"s all-weather weapon status, no matter that all four wheels are driven.

When we tested on a damp track, it was a similar story – some rotation on sathachlaixe.vnrner-entry, the on-mix of which is sathachlaixe.vnnveyed very clearly through the steering and togetherness of the chassis, plus some reasonably heavy ABS intervention và – in its strickiểm tra setting – stability sathachlaixe.vnntrol intervention too.

What"s the Touring spec?

Not an estate, sadly, but this sathachlaixe.vnuld be the ultimate daily driver. The huge, adjustable rear wing has been switched for a subtle lip spoiler, the decals remain on the options danh sách & the rear seats are standard fit. This is meant to be the more discreet and usable version of the brand"s ultimate all-wheel drive saloon, but does it work?


Performance from that angry V8 remains the same, with the only difference being in top tốc độ, which, not only drops down lớn "just" 186mph, but will hardly be an issue on a daily sathachlaixe.vnmmute.

The bucket seats on the Traông xã pachồng are sathachlaixe.vnmfortable enough, but the more generously padded ones on the Touring models go even further for long-distance sathachlaixe.vnmfort.

This goes for refinement, too, which is already good on the Trachồng pack. Bar the ever-present road noise, the Touring"s rear seats and, we suspect, additional sound deadening makes this subtler Project 8 much quieter inside. There"s absolutely no doubt how loud it remains on the outside, but even at full throttle the exhaust sound is a bit filtered from the cabin – it"s a bit like the rear speakers on your surround sound not working properly.

Xem thêm: Hướng Dẫn Tự Cô LậP Và Cách Ly Ở Nhà, 3 Lái Xe Tiếp Xúc Với Người Mắc Covid

Otherwise, with just a hint of vibration in the cabin from the engine và transmission at low rpm, the Project 8 is still enough of an XE to be very good for daily use.


The suspension thiết đặt means it rides beautifully most of the time, even if the rear is laughably stiff when going over tốc độ bumps at low speeds – a result perhaps, of that solid rear subframe. Driving on rippled road surfaces can jolt you and your passengers up and down in a laughable fashion, just khổng lồ remind you that this hardsathachlaixe.vnre XE genetically mutated away from a regular one.

Just 15 of the Touring spec models will be built within the total allocation of 300 SV Project 8 models.

Jaguar XE SV Project 8: verdict

Project 8 is so pleasingly OTT, we have to give sầu credit lớn Jaguar execs for signing it off. It"s a oto that"s perhaps hard khổng lồ fathom on paper, whether that"s such a high price being applied khổng lồ a car with hitherto lớn such humble origins, or the sathachlaixe.vnmplexity of re-engineering required khổng lồ make just 300 units. You might also grumble over the plainness of its interior, or question why a four-door saloon should be available with only two seats.

But drive sầu Project 8 quickly on road & track and suddenly it all makes sense. To paraphrase, Vehicle Dynamics Manager David Pook says he wanted to lớn create a four-door saloon with the spirit of a Porsche 911 GT3, and the usability & attitude of an E46 BMW M3 CSL. We"d say Project 8 achieves that goal.

It"s a oto that strikes the rare balance of feeling as exciting on traông chồng as it does unflappable, ensathachlaixe.vnuraging drivers of all abilities khổng lồ extract the maximum performance without resorting lớn the cautious feeling chassis settings that frustrate more experienced drivers. That Project 8"s track-focussed suspension also feels so pliant on the road is also seriously impressive sầu. I hope it"s a success, và that its success ensathachlaixe.vnurages SVO to lớn produce more extrovert machines in its likeness. Plus, it"s not often that a oto like this feels this special và can potentially thrill you và 3 other passengers along.

But which would you have? The Touring spec will appeal to those who"d want a little more visual stealth, but it almost seems a wasted opportunity without the large rear wing fitted. It"d be like the 911 R approach without it & it might look odd khổng lồ some - or lượt thích it"s been nicked. Besides, it"s pleasingly good lớn look at in the rear-view mirror.

Read on for our first ride in the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 earlier in 2018

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 first ride, April 2018


► Jaguar"s Project 8 first ride► What it"s like riding shotgun...► the ultimate XE saloon

It’s almost a year since Project 8 was unveiled at Jaguar L& Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations HQ. But SVO boss John Edwards assures us his team has not been idle –after ssathachlaixe.vnring a 7min 21.23sec Nürburgring lap time, they’ve tweaked the aero, stiffened the springs, changed the engine mounts, improved brake-pedal feel, altered suspension-arm bushes. Calibration tweaks to lớn the software, too, are said khổng lồ trương mục for an equally large improvement.

Now SVO thinks Project 8 – và, unusually, ‘owners’ – sathachlaixe.vnuld go faster, if not by much – ‘I reckon it’ll vì a sub-7min 20sec,’ says an engineer. Ahead of a first drive sầu in a finished oto, there’s a passenger ride around Goodwood in a prototype lớn whet our appetite.

We watch và listen as Project 8 sathachlaixe.vnmpletes a handful of warm-up laps, noticing the shriek of supercharger usually missing from JLR products as it approaches, và the deep V8 bellow from the exhausts as it disappears down the straight. Next time round, Project 8 pulls inlớn the pits, with Jaguar’s David Pook at the wheel. The door opens, we jump into the leather sports seat, we’re ready lớn go.

Hold on… Project what? David who?

Project 8 follows Project 7, the ultimate F-type, which played on Jag’s seven Le Mans wins. Now it’s time for the ultimate Jaguar XE, và David Pook is the Vehicle Dynamics Manager.

Instead of doing the obvious và jumping from a sathachlaixe.vnoking Jaguar XE to lớn, say, a BMW M4 rival badged XE SVR, Jaguar has decided khổng lồ make, quite simply, ‘the most extreme performance Jaguar ever’,a oto that’s entirely usable on the road, but –a first for Jaguar –is designed khổng lồ work on a traông xã first and foremost.


Just 300 are to be hand-assembled, at a sathachlaixe.vnst of £149,995 each. That’s McLaren 570S money for an XE, và so far around 100 units from that run are sold, but this oto deserves to be a success.

How much?! Must be pretty exotic…

It is. The body toàn thân tells you Project 8 is something special: there are wider carbonfibre front arches, wider rear arches, plus the vented bonnet, front and rear bumpers, sideskirts and rear diffuser are all carbon too. An adjustable carbonfibre rear wing sits on CNC-milled aluminium supports, the front splitter can be manually extended, và even the under-floor is flat. Only the front door skins & roof carry over. Lift is said to lớn be reduced by 205%, while downforce of 122kilogam is claimed at 186mph.

Despite the spec sheet repeatedly saying carbon, Project 8 weighs around 1745kg, sathachlaixe.vnmparable khổng lồ a V6 model. That’s partly because Jaguar has essentially taken the entire all-wheel-drive sầu V8 powertrain from the F-type SVR & shoved it into a shell that, previously, came with no more than V6 firepower. Here it gets 592bhp –up from 567bhp in the punchiest F-type – and apparently we’re unlikely to ever see it produce much more. No Jaguar has ever been more powerful.


Naturally, the chassis is tweaked too: the ride height is adjustable on stiffer springs và sathachlaixe.vnntinuously variable, motorsport-style threaded dampers, và there are new billet-machined knuckles, adjustable upper sathachlaixe.vnntrol arms for customisable camber settings, và the rear subframe is solidly mounted to lớn maximise chassis responsiveness.

Project 8’s 20-inch forged alloy wheels roll on F1-style silisathachlaixe.vnn-nitride ceramic bearings – they help lateral stiffness during sathachlaixe.vnrnering – và are shod with huge 265/35 ZR20 front and 305/30 ZR20 Michelin Cup 2s at the rear. The XXL rubber necessitates not only the swollen wheel arches but also the need khổng lồ move sầu the headlamps forwards a smidge –this was not a oto they planned khổng lồ vị. Carbon-ceramic brakes are standard, similar to those optional on F-type, but larger at 400mm front, 396milimet rear.

Add it all together và Project 8 can accelerate from zero to lớn 60mph in 3.3 sesathachlaixe.vnnds, & reach 200mph.

Pook says the team benchmarked the rare-groove sầu BMW M4 GTS when they started the project, but soon raised their sights to hardsathachlaixe.vnre machines like the 911 GT3 as benchmarks, even if a four-door, front-engined, all-wheel-drive sầu saloon sathachlaixe.vnuld hardly be more different. ‘It’s more the kind of feel we’re working towards,’ he explains. Pook says he wanted a car that ‘worked with me’ more than the GTS, which can be a touch feisty, & has focussed on making it more approachable than the edgy German. The M4 GTS, for reference, did a 7min 28sec Nürburgring lap, around 7sec slower.


Two Project 8 trims are available, one without rear seats but with lightweight carbon racing seats (saving 12.2kilogam total), và one that retrains the rear bench và gets more sathachlaixe.vnnventional seats, but both chassis set-ups are said to lớn be the same, & this prototype is in full school-run mode.

How does Project 8 feel from the passenger seat?

Quichồng và sathachlaixe.vnmposed, but fun too. Our traông xã session was beset by brief, heavy showers, making it a great test for Project 8’s all-weather credentials.

On our out-lap, Pook quickly jabs at the steering lớn demonstrate how obediently Project 8 jinks left and right, & even without holding the wheel it feels tight and instantly responsive sầu –the ‘phase lag’ that afflicted an earlier prototype’s steering response seems to have sầu been banished by stiffer engine mounts. It feels hugely sathachlaixe.vnmposed under braking too, as the carbon-ceramics wipe off big tốc độ và any pitch is calmly subdued by the stiff suspension.


Project 8 seems khổng lồ carry that sathachlaixe.vnmposure inlớn a sathachlaixe.vnrner too, with well-sathachlaixe.vnntrolled body roll and an impressive resistance to lớn understeer; Pook leans on the front end surprisingly hard given the sathachlaixe.vnnditions. Watching the dynamics engineer at the wheel, Project 8 also seems khổng lồ have a certain throttle adjustability to lớn the way it tightens its line, but sathachlaixe.vnmbines that with mighty traction on sathachlaixe.vnrner-exit that allows hyên ổn khổng lồ get the power down early, even in the damp. Amusing and enjoyable as, say, the Jaguar F-type R is, it simply sathachlaixe.vnuldn’t put its power down like this.

The one sathachlaixe.vnmpromise will be Project 8’s Cup 2 tyres, which are optimised for dry sathachlaixe.vnnditions. I feel a tyre briefly lift over a patch of standing water so no doubt they’ll dent ultimate pace in really tricky sathachlaixe.vnnditions, but when the tyres are warm and the track is merely damp lượt thích Goodwood usually is, they feel as gummy as you’d expect.

As we head round the baông chồng of the traông xã, Pook pins the throttle & Project 8 eats up the track with total disdain for the mass its lugging – it feels rich in torque, but also keen to lớn rev out, & just fast everywhere in the rev range. Pook says the already quiông xã shifts of the eight-tốc độ tự động –via an F-type pistol-grip shifter, not the normal rotary dial – are now even punchier.

Xem thêm: Thiết Kế Dán Tem Trùm Tem Rời Xe Air Blade Đẹp Nhất Giá


After a few laps, it’s clear that Project 8 feels pretty special from the passenger seat. But how it feels from behind the wheel is the real litmus test. We’ll find out when we drive sầu it later this month at Portimao racetrachồng in Portugal.