GRR

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Touring: discreet V8 saloon muscle

04th June 2019
Bob Murray

Fresh from travelling the world setting lap records, Jaguar’s hottest-ever saloon – the XE SV Project 8 that had its world debut at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard two years ago – is facing a new challenge. Like trundling to the shops and taking the kids to school…

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The first Touring-spec Project 8 is announced today. It remains the only V8-powered XE and, with 600PS (592bhp), the most powerful road-legal Jaguar ever. And it will still accelerate like the proverbial scalded cat: 0-62mph takes just 3.7 seconds. But now it will do it all just a little more discreetly.

Gone is the Project 8’s dramatic calling card: the big fixed carbon-fibre wing sitting high on its pylons over the XE’s boot. In its place comes a subtle lip spoiler and a new fixed front splitter for a demeanour less likely to frighten the horses, though presumably with rather less aerodynamic downforce (Jaguar doesn’t say). But probably best not to take it to the Nürburgring Nordschleife expecting to beat the 7:21.23 time the winged car recorded there, giving it the four-door production saloon lap record (with similar lap records at Laguna Seca and the Dubai Autodrome).

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Otherwise the car is pretty much the show-stopper form FOS 2017. Other aero additions, such as the bonnet air outlet, mesh grille and perforated front bumper section, remain, along with that wider, lower and altogether more purposeful body. The result, says Jaguar, turns the world’s fastest saloon into the ultimate Q car. You don’t even have to have the leaping cat body decals if you really want to stay under the radar.

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And like most of the 300 winged Project 8s being built, the Touring version comes with  four doors, four seats, child-seat mounting points and a boot for the weekly shop. Plus a growing reputation for being altogether quite comfortable and well behaved when not at racing speeds.

What the latest Jag won’t do is clock 200mph like the original. The Touring spec car is limited to 186mph (300km/h).

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JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) says it will build just 15 Touring Project 8s, making it by far rarest of all Project 8s. Four colours are available, including the blue shown along with British Racing Green, satin grey and orange, and all will be left-hand-drive.

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