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Frankfurt show: No mainstream V8 for Jaguar XE

8 no more: The only V8-powered Jaguar XE will be the outlandish SV Project 8 that develops 441kW and 700Nm, with sales limited to just 300 units and production in left-hand drive only.

Jaguar design director Ian Callum ‘hoped’ V8 variant would top mainstream XE range

Jaguar logo14 Sep 2017

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI in FRANKFURT

JAGUAR will not produce a road-going V8-powered version of its XE sedan, much to the disappointment of the British luxury brand’s design director Ian Callum.

“I hoped they would,” said Mr Callum. “I hoped they might do more of a road-going version with a V8 but we haven’t done that, we won’t be doing it.”

As a result, the only V8-powered XE will be the SV Project 8 that was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June with a snarling 441kW/700Nm supercharged 5.0-litre engine headlining its many modifications.

“This is it, we won’t be getting an R or and R-S version because we’re off to other things, other special vehicles,” said Mr Callum.

Being restricted to left-hand drive and with exclusivity assured by a production run of just 300 units, the Project 8 will not come to Australia.

Local Jaguar buyers must make do with the most powerful XE’s 250kW and 450Nm outputs, produced by a supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6.

Mr Callum, who penned the original mid-1990s HSV GTS-R during his time at TWR design, questioned the future of sports sedans in today’s rapidly shifting market.

“An interesting conversation is how does the sports sedan perform and where does it sit in the world today,” he said.

“If you look at how many people are buying souped-up sports sedans these days around the world, it’s not many.

“We like them because they’re good halos, we love them because we love cars, but not a huge number of cars being sold at that (Project 8) level of performance.”

He added that the limited-edition nature of the Project 8 was related to the challenging business case surrounding high-performance sedans.

“The easiest way is just to make them very special and a limited number always attracts customers,” he said.

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