Forget the F Type SVR and the Project 7. You can even overlook the iconic XJ220. This souped-up four door saloon – known as the XE SV Project 8 – will not only comfortably fit the family in, but is also set to be Jaguar’s most potent car yet.
It’s a Jaguar XE, but not as you know it.
That’s because the special vehicle division of the British brand has decided to squeeze a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 into a car primarily designed to shuttle up and down motorways.
Most powerful Jaguar ever: This is the XE SV Project 8 – a compact saloon that’s been transformed into the brand’s most potent fire-spitting car you’ll be able to drive on the road
Just 300 examples of the this super exclusive sports saloon will be made and if you can get in the order book the price tag is expected to be about £100,000.
It’s called the XE SV Project 8 – which is a bit of a mouthful, we know – and is set to become the ultimate Top Trumps Jaguar.
It’s the follow-up to the stunning and very limited F-Type Project 7, which is considered by many to be the brand’s most glorious looking car of the modern era.
But designers have concentrated more on brawn than beauty with this extreme XE, of which heavily camouflaged photographs were released today.
Rather than tuning the junior-executive model and offering it as an ‘XE R’ rival to the BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C63 and Alfa Romeo Quadifoglio hot saloons, the performance-division of Jaguar has created what looks like a race car for the M25.
That’s not to say an XE R isn’t in the pipeline – those hankering after a superfast but more mainstream baby Jaguar can expect to see a detuned version sitting below this Project 8 in the near future.
Developed at the new Technical Centre in Warwickshire, it packs a colossal 592bhp – that’s 25bhp more than an F-Type SVR and Project 7 and 50bhp above the legendarily powerful XJ220 supercar of the 1990s.
The Project 8 boasts 592bhp and is currently being honed at the Nürburgring before it is officially revealed in June
That’s also 100bhp more than BMW’s £120,500 M4 GTS, which is considered the most ballistic saloon on sale today.
Quite simply, not much else with five seats, cupholders and a decent boot is quicker.
Just 300 will be made worldwide, so getting your hands on one isn’t going to be easy.
The new XE SV Project 8 has 50bhp more than Jaguar’s 1990s supercar, the iconic and very unique XJ220
The car will be shown in the flesh without the black and white camouflage for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex from 30 June
No price has been confirmed yet, but the tag put on it could be another reason you’ll struggle getting the keys to a Project 8, if the F-Type Project 7 is anything to go by.
It was sold for a whopping £130,000 in 2015, which was more than double the price of the entry-level F-Type at the time and £40,000 more than the hottest R version.
With the most expensive XE S currently costing almost £50,000, it’s not out of the question to expect a figure between £90,000 and £100,000 for the XE SV Project 8.
The most powerful model until now is the F-Type Project 7 (and the SVR), which packs 567bhp. It was produced in limited numbers and cost £130,000
Daily Mail Motoring Editor Ray Massey pictured with the Jaguar F-Type SVR – the £108,000 model created to sit below the F-Type Project 7
As with two years ago, Jaguar is expected to appease excitable customers by releasing a slightly more affordable XE R – similar to the strategic release of the £108,000 F-Type SVR following the F-Type Project 7 reveal.
Until the Project 8 is officially unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next month, we’re unlikely to know much more in terms of the performance figures.
In fact, Jaguar has refrained from divulging whether the car will be rear- or all-wheel-drive yet, let alone told us about the 0-to-62mph sprint time and top speed.
The Project 8 will debut ahead of a more modest XE R that will go up against performance saloons like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63
The closest rival to the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is the BMW 4 Series GTS. This souped-up coupe only has 493bhp – that’s 99bhp short of the Jag
What we do know is that they’re honing it at the Nürburgring, as these teaser images show.
And it seems they’re tailoring the car to be somewhat of a track animal, with spoilers, flared arches and dustbin-lid sized brake discs on show.
Think of it as an XE on steroids running on jet fluid and driven by a test pilot with energy drink flowing through their veins.
The Project 8 name follows from the F-Type Project 7 signifying it will be a very limited edition
Jaguar says just 300 will be made, and we expect the price to be close to the £100,000 mark
John Edwards, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations said: ‘The new XE SV Project 8 takes aerodynamics and performance engineering to another level – it is conceived for enthusiasts and the most discerning collectors.
‘The price for such an extreme performance sports car available in strictly limited numbers will reflect that.’
Full specification details will be revealed on 28 June, ahead of its ‘world dynamic debut’ at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex on 30 June.