Of all the words we might use to describe the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, “restrained” is not right at the tip of our fingers.
It’s a 592hp, supercharged V8 monster capable of some incredible pace. Jaguar claims the car holds sedan lap records at circuits on three continents, including Dubai Autodrome, Laguna Seca and — obviously — the Nurburgring. That last one is oddly specific, but there’s no doubting the 8’s pace.
Nonetheless, it’s still quite an acquired taste as cars go. That might be part of the reason why Jaguar still has a bunch of them left, despite limiting production to 300 cars and starting production two years ago. Well, that and the fact it’s a $190,000 motor thanks to some extreme structural modifications required to get the V8 into the car in the first place. It’s also left-hand drive only, which might be off-putting to customers in the right-hand drive United Kingdom.
Jaguar can’t address the cost or basic physical characteristics, but it can do something about the looks. The result is this new, even more-limited run, Touring specification.
The good news is that Jaguar has barely touched the car at all. In all dynamic and performance aspects, bar one, its still the same Jaguar XE SV Project 8. The one metric that has changed is a mild reduction to the top speed, down to a mere 186mph from the double-ton.
That’s down to the major external change, which is the deletion of that pantograph rear wing. Jaguar instead fits a small, ducktail-type spoiler to the 8’s rear deck. As the car loses the rear adjustable wing, Jaguar has also changed the front splitter from an adjustable item to a fixed unit instead.
While the regular Project 8 is available in both four-seat and a peculiar two-seat arrangement (with a safety cage in the rear instead), despite being a four-door car, the Touring is exclusively a four-seater. Jaguar is also omitting the stripes and leaper decals from the Touring as standard, but will add them for customers worried this might make it too subtle. The number of available paint finishes is down from eight to four, but still includes Valencia Orange, presumably for the same reason.
We haven’t seen a price tag for the Touring, but don’t expect it to differ much from the regular car’s £149,995 ($190,000). You will at least get some exclusivity though; the Project 8 has a limited run of just 300 cars, and the Touring will make up only 15 of those.