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Jaguar’s Project 8: New supercar an XE that has grown horns

LiveMint logoLiveMint 03-07-2017 Timothy Coulter

London: Inside Jaguar, they call their latest supercar a “crazy idea”.

But the concept is simple and as old as racing itself: take the lightest body possible and match it with the most powerful V8 available. What you get is Project 8, the latest product from the company’s three-year-old Special Vehicle Operations unit.

The Valencia orange car based on the Jaguar XE body made its track debut this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed outside London, racing up a 1.16 mile hill-climb alongside Lamborghini, McLaren, Porsche, Koenigsegg, and others among the fastest production vehicles anywhere. Jaguar says the 592-HP sedan can top 200 miles per hour and reach 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.

“There is nothing frivolous on this car,” said Mark Stanton, director of Special Vehicle Operations at Jaguar Land Rover. “It’s a car to be driven, and driven quickly, on the track.”

The Project 8 will be hand-built in Warwickshire, England, since a majority of the panels are unique to this car, compared with the standard sedan. The front end, for example, was stretched to make room for the 5-litre, supercharged V-8 motor. The wheel arches are flared to accommodate the 305 millimeter (12 inch) rear racing tires and improve aerodynamics.

Carbon fibre is everywhere, from the front bumper and air vent gouged in the hood to the rear-wing designed to provide downforce and improve handling. The carbon fibre valance around the lower edge also helps manage airflow.

Inside, it looks like a Jaguar. Black leather covers the carbon fibre front racing seats. There’s a USB port, two cupholders and touch screen GPS display, alongside a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. In the track version, the rear bench seat has been removed to make space for a protective roll cage, a version that won’t be available in the US and Canada. All cars will be left-hand drive. The UK version lists for £149,995 ($198,000) plus an extra £7,000 for the track pack.

In it's world debut weekend, our man took the up the hill!

— Jaguar Racing (@JaguarRacing)

Jaguar will make 300 worldwide, up from the 250 Jaguar F-Types that were converted in its last special project. Deliveries start next summer. The prototype that raced this weekend was only completed days ago. The standard colours are red, black and white, with five optional metallics, including the orange shown.

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