We would never get tired of speaking about Jaguar‘s Project 8, but we promise – this is the last article about the most extreme Jaguar to date. Today we want to share you some impressions of people, who were involved in the project. A couple of videos will help you understand just how much work went into creating Project 8.
Harry Metcalfe is a huge name in automotive culture. He is the founder of the famous Evo Magazine, which is utterly adored by an entire generation of car enthusiasts. Metcalfe leave Evo in 2013 after 15 years of work for the magazine and quickly became an outside advisor for Jaguar-Land Rover, helping the initial set up of JLR Special Operations. He was involved in several special, limited edition cars from the brand, including the latest one – the Project 8.
Metcalfe has a YouTube channel, which we strongly recommend you follow. Recently he shared his insights and a little bit of inside history of the development of Project 8, allowing us to see just how much though and engineering went into production of this car.
We definitely didn’t know that Jaguar XE changed so much in the transformation to become a super saloon. For example, you can’t really tell that its headlights moved forward – this was done to accommodate the bigger engine. Engineers did calculations and computer simulations and found that the car will hit 200 mph, so they had to make sure all the aero works great at that speed. For example, there was a low pressure spot on top of the bonnet, which could have potentially caused bonnet to pop open at high speed. They fixed it by creating a giant vent, which also helps removing some heat from 5.0-litre supercharged V8, producing 600 ps.
Then there are ceramic bearings. Skateboards and some expensive equipment have been using ceramic ball bearings for quite some time already, but cars were avoiding them because of their cost. Project 8 became the first car ever to use ceramic wheel bearings, but we are not sure if this will catch on. Ceramic bearings are vastly more expensive and more difficult to work with. Their durability is also an issue in some cases, which means one needs to replaces them a little more often. However, they produce much less friction and behave better under extreme heat.
Finally, rear doors are something to note too. They are pressed in an entirely new mould. Think about it – some very expensive tooling had to be made specifically for a car that will be produced in very low numbers. Rear doors are flared out to match flared arches, which were created to accommodate larger wheels and wider track. Having in mind a different bumper, diffuser and a spoiler at the rear, new rear doors, new bonnet, front bumper, moved headlights, large splitter – it is basically a new car.
And to think about it, you can take your children to school in this thing if you want to. Project 8 will only come as a left hand drive, because steering mechanism simply doesn’t fit any other way. But these 300 lucky people are sure going to enjoy it.
Source: Harry’s garage