JLR’s SVO division is known for making some extreme rides. From the super luxurious Range Rover SVAutobiography to the Land Rover Discovery SVX off-roader and Jaguar XE SV Project 8 ultrafast saloon, it covers high-end niches, while also making the vehicles suitable for everyday use.
Here we’ll focus on Jag’s XE SV Project 8 that’s offered in three different versions, with production limited to just 300 units. First off, you get the regular variant with all seats in position, whereas the track-focused model removes the backseat completely and adds some very sticky tires. Then you have the Touring, which keeps the seating positions intact while removing that gigantic wing at the back for a more subtle look.
At a first glance, someone who doesn’t know Jag’s game could be tricked into thinking that it’s a company car, probably with a four-cylinder diesel engine under the hood. But the aero upgrades, redesigned front end to make room for the gigantic 5.0-liter, supercharged V8, carbon fiber brakes and large alloy wheels, do give it away to the initiated. The 600 PS (592 hp / 441 kW) sent to the two axles via an 8-speed transmission allow it to sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 4 seconds and up to 300 km/h (186 mph).
Select the Track mode and here’s where the magic happens, as everything becomes livelier so that drivers can enjoy high-speed cornering and that brilliant V8 burble. Everything is just as sharp and refined as you might expect from an extreme BMW M3 rival, with a special British touch and ensured exclusivity. However, the steering does feel a bit numb, and that was one of the disappointments highlighted by Carfection in their video review.
Then comes the price, which at £150,000 ($186,990/€169,670) in the UK, is simply eye-watering. But with only 15 Touring-spec Project 8s to be sold worldwide, most of them will end up in special car collections anyway. So, in the end, it’s how much you want one that will dictate the approach.