The perfect family car? Seats in the back for two little ones… plus 600 horsepower and the ability to lay thick black lines on the Goodwood starting straight! Just ask Jaguar Land Rover SVO designer Wayne Burgess.
JUL 05th 2017
Jaguar tell us why XE SV Project 8 might be the ultimate FOS family car
Wayne had his family on hand to present SVO’s latest creation and undoubted new-car star of the 2017 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard: the amazing 200mph Jaguar XE SV Project 8, making its world debut. The most powerful Jaguar road car ever thrilled FOS fans with Dave Pook, manager of vehicle dynamics at SVO, behind the wheel for its debut runs in the Sussex sunshine.
Dave told GRR: “Driving Project 8 at Goodwood has been a sweet-shop moment for me. It’s the reason I go to work.”
Then it was the turn of Wayne along with SVO boss John Edwards to present the “four-door supercar” to FoS crowds in the appropriate surroundings of the Michelin Supercar Paddock, surrounded by many of the world’s fastest and most exotic cars.
John said: “It is my brief to create crazy cars and thankfully we have plenty of designers and engineers with crazy ideas.”
With a true 592bhp Project 8 is powered by the most powerful version yet developed of the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 familiar from cars like the F-Type. Beefed up in all the right places and all-wheel drive, the Project 8 is available in both two and (thankfully for Wayne!) four-seat versions, either of which can get from 0-62mph in just 3.7secs. Just 300 are being made at £150,000 each.
All the cars, which start in production at SVO next year, will be left-hand drive because, says designer Wayne, the changes to the car mean the steering rack will not fit in right-drive versions.
Other things we have found out about the car:
It has not yet done 200mph. But it will be doing that later this year, both on a test track and maybe even on German autobahns. Says Dave Pook: “It is important we drive the car where actual owners will be using it.” He says the SVO team is looking forward to having all those fast-lane Mercs, Audis and BMWs having to get out of the way!
A Nurburgring time will be published soon. The car has already been tested at the Nordschleife as part of its development but, says Dave Pook, there is no time yet “because the car is not finished”. SVO boss John Edwards adds: “We are looking forward to setting some good times at the Nurburgring.”
Project 8 has come about in less than a year. Suspension work was laid down only last September, says Dave.
There’s no “Project 9” – yet. John Edwards: “We have had Project cars every three years (the last Project 7 F-Type was launched at Goodwood in 2014 – ed), but it’s not planned like that. It happens when we have a crazy idea, see something that makes sense or see a gap in the production schedule. Most of our business is mainstream SVR products like the F-Type SVR.”
An SVR XE follow-up is “a possibility”. But, says John Edwards, “Project 8 is all hand-built in an all-new facility and limited to just 300 collectors’ editions, and that’s a very different proposition from doing a mainstream BMW M4 competitor.
“It is a possibility but is not on the radar at the moment. It’s all to do with a commercial appraisal. We have to see if it makes sense financially if the market is big enough. We will see what the reaction to this car is.”
Not all 300 are sold yet. But some of them have been, not bad in only its third day! The Goodwood car will be going to the Pebble Beach Concours later this year to meet its American audience: the US is expected to be the car’s biggest market, with “fewer than 100” according to John Edwards staying in the UK.