Unleashing the baddest street-legal Jag ever produced

If you wanna test your performance machine properly, you’re gonna need a racing driver or two. And that’s exactly what Jaguar did with its new XE SV Project 8, putting the pumped-up four-door through its paces at the Goodwood Motor Circuit last month. The results were captured in the following short video.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Joining forces with the SVO development team was Andy Wallace and Davy Jones, recruited to give the XE Project 8 a thorough wringing.

As you might imagine, Jag has quite the roster to pull from when it comes to racing drivers. This time around, Jag tapped Andy Wallace and Davy Jones, who joined forces with the Special Vehicle Operations development team at the U.K. course to give the XE Project 8 a thorough wringing.

Make sure to check out the 2-minute, 51-second video below to see some slick footage of the car heading around the track, complete with a howling V-8 soundtrack and comments from the racing drivers.

Long story short, the pair deemed it “absolutely staggering” and “a winner.”

These folks know what they’re talking about. Wallace is best known for his victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988 at the wheel of the Jaguar XJR-9. Jones took victory at the Daytona 24 hours in 1990 at the wheel of an XJR-12 (with co-driver Andy Wallace), plus he finished second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991 and nabbed a first-place finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1996. Both Jones and Wallace raced with the 1988 and 1991 World Sports Car Championship team as well.

“Most road-legal cars on track are a massive disappointment, but Project 8 is really something,” Wallace commented. “It’s absolutely staggering how it has been made to feel like a proper racing car. It keeps wanting you to push harder. It’s not bothered by Goodwood’s undulations, it just hunkers down and feels totally at ease, so you’re happy to get on the throttle earlier. It inspires confidence straight away.”

Racing Legends Rate Project 8 a 10
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It’s absolutely staggering how it has been made to feel like a proper racing car. It keeps wanting you to push harder,” Wallace said.

“The brake pedal feel is fantastic. It is absolutely linear and you can feel what it’s doing,” Wallace said. “The steering too is brilliant. It feels like a car that’s developed after days and days, and hours and hours, of testing. You don’t just ‘luck’ something as good as this. Anybody can build a fast car. But to build a fast car that feels this good - that’s quite an achievement.”

“I’m used to powerful racing cars. But this feels really fast. The sheer acceleration didn’t feel all that different from a 700bhp racing prototype - and that really surprised me,” Jones added. “It’s certainly Jaguar’s best track I’ve driven since the sports prototype Jaguars of the 1980s and 1990s.”

The XE Project 8 will next head to test sessions at Portimao in Portugal, Motorland Aragon in Spain, and Laguna Seca in California.

As a reminder, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is powered by 600 horses from a blown 5.0-liter V-8. An eight-speed automatic transmission swaps cogs, while top speed is rated at 200 mph.

Helping it stop are all-new carbon ceramic brakes pumped by motorsport-grade synthetic racing fluid, which combine to reduce fade and maintain a consistent pedal feel, even after repeated hard stops.

Outside, the Project 8 is decked out in a carbon fiber body and adjustable aero kit, while the suspension gets an adjustable ride height and camber.

The XE Project 8 is also a collection of firsts, as it’s the first road car to come equipped with F1-style ceramic wheel bearings and the first Jaguar to come with a dedicated Track Mode.

Interested buyers can get theirs as either a full-fledged four-seater, or in the even-lighter two-seat Track Pack configuration. Pricing starts at $187,500 with deliveries kicking off this summer. Only 300 will be built.

Racing Legends Rate Project 8 a 10
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In terms of competition, Jag hopes to take on one of Stuttgart’s best, previously describing the XE Project 8 as a “Porsche GT3 with four seats

In terms of competition, Jag hopes to take on one of Stuttgart’s best, previously describing the XE Project 8 as a “Porsche GT3 with four seats” *** https://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/jaguar-finalizes-xe-sv-project-8-prepares-to-battle-the-porsche-gt3-ar181016.html *** . For now, though, the brand has a little catching up to do, posting a fastest ‘Ring lap record of 7 minutes, 21 seconds, falling short of the GT3’s 7-minute, 12-second record.

References

2018 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jaguar XE SV Project 8.

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Press release

Legendary Jaguar sports car racers Andy Wallace and Davy Jones joined the Special Vehicle Operations development team at Goodwood Motor Circuit last month, declaring the new Jaguar XE SV Project 8 “absolutely staggering” and “a winner” after testing it on the fast and demanding UK track.

British driver Andy Wallace won the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in 1988 driving the Jaguar XJR-9 and was part of Jaguar’s victorious 1988 and 1991 World Sports Car Championship teams. The Goodwood test was the first time he’d driven the all-wheel-drive track-focused Project 8, which features a 600PS supercharged 5.0-litre V8 powertrain.

Andy Wallace said:“Most road-legal cars on track are a massive disappointment, but Project 8 is really something. It’s absolutely staggering how it has been made to feel like a proper racing car. It keeps wanting you to push harder. It’s not bothered by Goodwood’s undulations, it just hunkers down and feels totally at ease, so you’re happy to get on the throttle earlier. It inspires confidence straight away.”

Project 8 features an all-new Carbon Ceramic Brakes (CCB) system, incorporating the latest technology to deliver consistent pedal feel, fade resistance and longevity under the most demanding conditions. It also uses motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid (SRF).

Wallace said:“The brake pedal feel is fantastic. It is absolutely linear and you can feel what it’s doing. The steering too is brilliant. It feels like a car that’s developed after days and days, and hours and hours, of testing. You don’t just ‘luck’ something as good as this. Anybody can build a fast car. But to build a fast car that feels this good – that’s quite an achievement.”

American Davy Jones was also a member of both the 1988 and 1991 championship winning Jaguar teams. He won the Daytona 24 Hours in 1990 in an XJR-12 (with Andy Wallace), and finished second at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1991. He later went on to win Le Mans in 1996.

Davy Jones said: “I’m used to powerful racing cars. But this feels really fast. The sheer acceleration didn’t feel all that different from a 700bhp racing prototype – and that really surprised me. It’s certainly Jaguar’s best track car I’ve driven since the sports prototype Jaguars of the 1980s and 1990s.”

With world-class motorsport technology throughout, Project 8 has carbon fibre panels, adjustable aerodynamics, a unique suspension setup with adjustable ride height and camber, and is the first road car with F1-style ceramic wheel bearings. It’s also the first Jaguar with a dedicated Track Mode, which activates electronic calibration settings tailored to circuit use.

Jones said: “There is no body roll, loads of grip, the braking is incredible. When you turn into a corner, it points in, when you step on the accelerator it wants to launch out of the corner. It doesn’t do anything to spook you. It’s such an accessible car to drive. The [8-speed automatic] gear shifts are so precise and so quick too.”

The 200mph* road-legal Project 8 is the world’s fastest four-door sedan, having lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a record 7min 21.23sec. Final tests are planned for Portimão in Portugal, Motorland Aragón in Spain and Laguna Seca in California, USA. Hand-assembly of no more than 300 cars will begin at Special Vehicle Operations’ Technical Centre in June.

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is available either as a four-seater or in lightweight two-seat Track Pack configuration (Track Pack is a market-dependent option at extra cost). Project 8 costs from £149,995 in the UK. Deliveries will begin this summer.

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