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Do you hear something? It’s the sound of an era ending.
Take a good hard look at the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. Before you know, it’ll be gone, and we don’t mean just the 300 examples being built worldwide. More specifically, its supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine. That V8, which has seen service in several Jaguars as well as the upcoming F-Pace SVR, is living on borrowed time. Speaking to Car Magazine, Jaguar design boss Ian Callum admitted the future of internal combustion, sans hybrid boost, is nearly over, at least for Jaguar Land Rover.
“Internal combustion, V8 in the nose, sheer horsepower, mechanical drive. I think Project 8 is the last of its kind,” Callum said. What will be taking the supercharged V8’s place, eventually? Performance hybrids. Fortunately, those hybrids could be combined with a V8, which is nothing new anymore, but a supercharged V8 will soon run into trouble in regards to fuel emissions. Even if JLR has a diverse lineup consisting of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and EVs, continuing with a supercharged V8 in niche models simply won’t make any financial sense. Furthermore, Jaguar will be able to achieve the necessary performance figures from new technologies which could prove to be even faster and more powerful than a supercharged V8.
But if that V8’s life is about to end, we can’t think of any better vehicle than the XE SV Project 8 for it to have one last hurrah. Sure, the F-Pace SVR, due next March in New York, will be quite something, but a compact high-performance sedan that can literally manhandle a BMW M3 on track is something very special.