2019 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 review – engine, transmission and technical details

Jaguar's XE SV Project 8 takes a rather more extreme approach to the super saloon recipe than most, but has an equally extreme price tag to match

Evo rating
Price
from £149,995
  • Performance, poise and ability on track, usable on road, bombastic soundtrack
  • Cup 2 tyres struggle in the wet, a few levels above the usual saloon price point

Both Project 8 and Project 8 Touring use the most potent development of Jaguar Land Rover’s 5-litre supercharged V8. How potent? Try 592bhp at 6500rpm, and 516lb ft of torque at 3500rpm.

Containing that power is an all-wheel drive system. Disappointed? Well, much as rear-wheel drive might have been amusing, it’d also have turned the rear tyres into vapour rather than traction. In normal conditions there’s a sensible 50/50 torque split front to rear, but the set-up can still send up to 100 per cent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels alone in certain circumstances.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The standard and sole transmission is the usual eight-speed automatic, which has been adapted to suit the Project 8’s performance, and delivers quicker shifts than elsewhere in the JLR range. Controlling it is an F-type-style pistol-grip lever and a pair of paddles behind the steering-wheel spokes.

It only takes a glance to notice the visual changes between the XE and the Project 8, and only the roof and front door skins are shared between the two variants. Like the XE there’s an aluminium substructure, while the aforementioned panels are also aluminium, but everything else – bonnet, bootlid, front and rear wings, bumpers – is carbonfibre, in an effort to shed weight. At 1745kg at its very lightest, it’s lighter than, say, a BMW M5, but far from the 1620kg of the less exotically constructed Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The body kit does at least reduce aerodynamic lift – to the tune of 206 per cent compared to the standard XE – and a wider track (by 24mm up front and 73mm behind) improves stability further. Suspension is double wishbone at both ends, but beefed up for the Project 8 with stiffer bushes, ball joints and thicker anti-roll bars.

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020
Visit/bmw/2-series-coupe/202900/new-bmw-2-series-coupe-spied-ahead-of-reveal
BMW 2 Series coupe

New rear-wheel drive BMW 2-series coupe spied – the M2’s not dead yet

BMW’s 2-series Coupe is coming back, with right-wheel drive.
6 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020
Visit/ferrari/roma
Ferrari

Ferrari Roma 2020 review – a new take on the Italian GT

Direct, engaging handling and superb ride quality, plus strong performance: the sharp-suited Roma nails its GT brief
5 Aug 2020