- The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is a very special British muscle car, produced in a limited run of 300 cars, selling for nearly $200,000.
- It has a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 that makes close to 600 horsepower and can propel the car from 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds, with a top speed of 200 mph.
- I can vouch for the 0-60 time, but not the top speed. And there’s no doubt that the Jag’s V8 creates a joyful noise.
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When we think of British cars, the iconic ones, the mind turns to peppy roadsters and plush Rolls-Royce saloons. True, the history of raw English power was written by marques like Bentley, and these days, McLaren is no slouch.
But when it comes to a very large engine sending a car very fast in a more-or-less straight line, the Brits long ago ceded mindshare to its former colonies and their Yankee muscle.
Muscle cars are made by Chevy, Ford, and Dodge. The concept is brutal and simple: big motor, loud noise, rear wheel drive, tire smoke, hellacious linear speed. European cars, meanwhile, can go around corners.
That cliché sort of overlooks the fact that the muscle-car formula isn’t exactly top-secret. This means that Mercedes and BMW and Audi can produce what by the specs resemble muscle cars. What the Germans have done, the Anglo-Saxons can also do.
This notion was recently driven home for me when Jaguar let me borrow an XE SV sedan, Project 8 edition. Price? $188,495. Production run? No more than 300 worldwide, Jag said back in 2017 when the company unleashed the rare beast.
I quite liked the Jag XE, and the Project 8, from Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) wizards, sure looked good on paper — but it also looked intimidating. Was I ready for unbridled British sinew? Read on to find out.
The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 was unveiled in 2017, in connection with the annual costume drama-speedapalooza-vintage-throwback-hootenanny that is the Goodwood Festival.
The XE SV Project has "SHOW CAR" written all over it, so I was a bit surprised when Jaguar said I could grab the vehicle for a few days. The vibrant blue paint job made the car stand out in my driveway.
My tester came bedecked in some leaping feline livery stickers. It also had racing stripes, a low-slung carbon-fiber front splitter, racing-spec Michelin tires, and …
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