In the event you’re less than velocity, the Project 8 is Jaguar’s shock salvo into sedan insanity. And Jag did not half-ass it, both: it is Jag’s largest engine – a 592-horsepower, supercharged 5.zero-liter V8 – stuffed into their smallest steed, the compact XE. Assume Aston Martin V12 Vantage, AC Cobra 427, et al. Aiding downforce is a wing that delivers 269 kilos of downforce at 1270 mph, a lot that Jaguar needed to reinforce the trunklid to stop it from denting at excessive speeds. There is a flat underbody for lowered raise, and light-weight carbon fiber and aluminum physique panels changing all however the entrance door skins and roof. The purposeful theme is carried into the cabin, with comfortable racing buckets up entrance and seating restricted to 4.
The boy racer cues bely some critical gear. It is sixty eight lbs lighter than the subsequent-lightest SE, the 380-hp S AWD supercharged V6. There’s additionally an entire lot of tightening all through, from the spring charges to the firmer engine mounts. Actually, the stiffening feels prefer it’s been cranked to eleven – even in Consolation mode, the journey is taut and typically jarring, by no means fairly feeling comfy sufficient. When you dig feeling each final ripple within the tarmac, it is fantastic, however anybody looking for a wallowy, coddling experience will discover the Project 8 an excessive amount of.
The Project 8’s razor sharp suggestions begs you to drive on public roads such as you’re lapping Nardo or the Nürburbring – two of the circuits the place the car was developed. However regardless of its legit origins, dicing such an overtly extroverted car by means of visitors may also be an unlimited social legal responsibility. Go-quick sticker graphics? Verify. Ginormous wing? Yep. Banana yellow brake calipers? Duh. That is weaponized transport for the road, sufficient to make the meekest driver seem like she or he has one thing to show.
The Project 8’s Alcantara-trimmed interior compliments the aggressive exterior, as do the comfortable-becoming seats, which use magnesium frames for weight financial savings (non-U.S. markets go a step additional, with carbon fiber seats with 4 level harnesses). Squeeze the accelerator, and the XE responds with a shove and a snort even from low RPMs. The feeling is signature supercharger: a linear wall of energy that simply pulls and pulls, in contrast to the peaky crescendo of turbocharged mills. The unmistakably guttural, mechanical sound of the supercharger turns into downright uproarious when the lively titanium exhaust system’s 4 retailers open up absolutely. Crisp shifts from the ZF eight-velocity present an exclamation level of engagement at larger RPMs.
Whereas Jaguar says the Project 8 is the model’s first car to feature a devoted monitor mode, even the milder settings really feel sufficiently aggressive for many spirited drives. The thick-rimmed steering wheel’s fast ratio offers nice suggestions via the fats 265mm Michelin Pilot Cup 2s, though the steering in Race mode is just too heavy at low speeds. The suspension has been reworked with race-impressed hardware, together with stiffer bushings and even stiffer ball joints on the rear higher management arms. Aiding the car’s flat, glued-down conduct is an all-wheel-drive system and an digital rear differential that, collectively, permits it to put down its 516 lb-ft of torque with ease. The carbon ceramic brakes are the primary Jaguar stoppers to feature F1-type silicon nitride wheel bearings. Chew is responsive and powerful, although we observed some squeaking at decrease speeds.
A restricted run on Los Angeles freeways exhibits the Project 8 is definitely pretty snug regardless of its stiff journey. In reality, our largest misgivings concerning the XE did not relate to its efficiency or seat consolation, however somewhat its lengthy-in-the-tooth infotainment display, which made it really feel behind the occasions regardless of its completely trendy efficiency. It is also unusual that U.S.-market automobiles get the identical heavy panoramic class roof as a regular XE – you’d anticipate a lighter slicktop for a efficiency-targeted car.
Whereas the XE is neither comfortable nor clean, it is not presupposed to be. That is about as targeted a sport sedan as you will discover, one whose efficiency priorities are painstakingly clear. In truth, the Project 8 set a Nürburgring Nordschleife report for a 4-door with a time of seven:21.23, which is eleven seconds faster than the earlier report holder, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. You must contemplate, nevertheless, that this was primarily the one superlative declare that would allow the Project 8 to face out on this aggressive crowd, particularly contemplating its based mostly on a now 4-yr-previous car with a looming mid-cycle facelift. However this is the kicker: the Project 8 comes with a shocking asking price of $187,500, and with manufacturing restricted to 300 models, it is positive to attraction primarily to the type of über-fanatic with cash to burn who buys restricted-version, restricted-run automobiles reflexively.
The XE Project 8 clearly does not make a case for itself as a efficiency discount, nevertheless it does symbolize a profile-elevating scorching rod 4-door making waves in an period by which sedans are going extinct. It is wild, charismatic, and undoubtedly area of interest. There is no getting round the truth that its structure, electronics, and dynamics lag behind the newest from Audi RS, BMW M, and Mercedes-AMG, and but it claimed a Nürburgring report and with it maybe even higher bragging rights. So regardless of its imperfections, the Project 8 intrigues and impresses as a result of it takes on a boldness we want extra carmakers embraced.
Jaguar XE SV Info
– 2019 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 First Drive Review –
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