Although Jaguar mostly used to make comfortable, leather-filled luxury sedans, since Jaguar Land Rover launched its Special Vehicle Operations division, the British automaker has made some pretty impressive performance cars. This one, though, is by far its most extreme yet.
Jaguar unveiled the new track-focused XE SV Project 8 on Wednesday that it says will be able to reach 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, making it the fastest road-going Jag ever, according to a press release. It’s also the first model to be entirely hand-assembled at the new $25-million SVO Technical Center in Warwickshire, U.K.
The Project 8’s impressive acceleration largely is due to its upgraded power plant. Its 5-liter supercharged V-8 is the most-powerful that Jaguar ever has fitted to a road car, producing 592 horsepower and 516 foot-pounds of torque. Mercedes-AMG’s new hardcore GT R, for perspective, has just 577 horsepower, though it has the same amount of torque as the Jaguar.
What’s more, the XE SV has less weight to lug around than the standard car, thanks to carbon fiber and aluminum bodywork, front performance seats with magnesium frames and 20-inch forged aluminum wheels.
Like it did with the F-Type SVR, Jaguar opted to fit the Project 8 with an eight-speed automatic transmission, rather than a dual-clutch box like many of its competitors use. Unlike in the SVR, though, you can control the XE SV’s transmission using either the steering-wheel-mounted paddles or a pistol-grip shifter on the center console.
The car also has a Track Mode, another first for Jaguar, that controls steering and throttle responses and traction control. It also alters the way in which the electronic rear-differential distributes power to each wheel.
What’s more, the car’s ride height can be reduced by as much as 0.6 inches. The lower stance, combined with its flat underbody and adjustable rear wing and front splitter, results in a 205 percent reduction in lift in Track Mode.
Only 300 examples will be produced worldwide, and Jaguar only will offer the Project 8 in left-hand drive, so its domestic market in the U.K. won’t be too happy.
Jaguar is set to debut the Project 8 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and the car is slated to make its run up the famed Goodwood Hillclimb course on June 30.
All photos via Jaguar
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