For many of us who came of age in the 1980s and ’90s, few cars will ever seem as cool as the Jaguar XJ220. A low-slung, curvaceous supercar built to run at speeds over 212 mph, it remains one of the purest expressions of performance. It’s a car that still turns heads to this day, and one we desperately wish to have in our garage.
So when we got word that Jaguar was set to unveil its most extreme performance car yet, we were excited. Perhaps the company decided to finally build its turbine-powered C-X75. Or maybe we’d be seeing a new Le Mans-inspired hypercar. Instead, we’re getting a new Jaguar XE. You know — the entry-level, compact sedan.
Jaguar’s latest performance machine is called the XE SV Project 8, and despite its humble platform, it’s a vehicle we’re truly excited about. As cool as supercars can be, there’s something even cooler about taking an everyday family hauler and transforming it into something that can beat the world’s greatest performance machines.
The XE SV Project 8 is just the second vehicle to come from Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) unit, with the first being 2014’s F-TYPE Project 7. Limited to just 250 units globally, the 575-horsepower Project 7 boasted a 3.8-second 0-60 time and a 186-mph top speed.
And Jaguar promises that its XE SV Project 8 will be even wilder.
Jaguar has yet to release more than a handful of details about this compact sedan. We do know that the vehicle has completed its debut test at Germany’s Nürburging Nordschleife, but timing data remains a closely guarded secret. We also know that the hand-built XE SV Project 8 will feature a specially tuned, supercharged 5.0-liter V8 predicted to produce 600 PS, or 591 horsepower, making this sedan the most powerful road-legal car in Jaguar’s history. This beast of a motor will send its power to the ground via all four wheels, suggesting mind-boggling acceleration, plus lots of grip in the corners. But things like suspension, brakes, and transmission information remain a mystery.
Information on the interior is—you guessed it—unknown. Though if the craftsmanship found in the Project 7 is any indication, it’s safe to assume that the cabin of the XE SV Project 8 will be nothing short of spectacular, with leather-trimmed racing seats keeping its select few occupants safely in place.
One thing we’re fairly sure of—though of course we can’t be completely sure—is that the striking SVO Design camo livery seen in these teaser photos won’t make it to production. But then again, this is a hyper-limited machine built for Jaguar’s well-heeled clientele. If one of its customers wants this camo on their car, we’re sure Jaguar will find a way to accommodate them.
So about that limited status: Jaguar is saying it will build no more than 300 units worldwide. Jaguar promises that more information will be revealed soon.