Continuing the logical progression of Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations (“SVO”) models, a Project 9 has been confirmed to be in the works. Jaguar’s skunk works operation has already seen success with the Project 7, a hardcore, speedster style F-Type variant. Top brass have now confirmed that work has started on the next limited edition model.
As you would expect, Jaguar are tight-lipped about what the Project 9 will be based upon. In a recent interview with Top Gear magazine, the man in charge, John Edwards, said: “…there’s no decision what it will be yet. It doesn’t necessarily have to be high performance, we’re making up the rules as we go along.”
Edwards also appeared to confirm that the end goal for the SVO cars was to create a future classic. To that end, the Project 8 has apparently cost Jaguar more to create than it would have liked. The XE has been completely re-engineered in 20 months to create a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 nightmare, with 592 hp and a 0 to 60 mph time of around 200 mph.
Of the 300 planned Project 9’s, 200 letters of intent have been received with 100 firm orders. As the first truly performance oriented version of the acclaimed Jaguar XE, there should be enough demand to ensure that the entire limited production run is catered for. Who wouldn’t want a raucous four door sedan, capable of lapping the Nürburgring in 7 minutes 21.23 seconds?
The Top Gear article also confirms subtle tweaks for the Project 8 as fine-tuning work continues to ensure that it achieves the best lap times. The springs and engine mounts have been stiffened and the suspension arm bushings replaced. Work has also been carried out on the brakes and the software. Perhaps we could see another lap record?