Most manufacturers design and manufacture their cars with specific goals in mind. Luxury sedans, hatchbacks for affordable solutions, cargo vans, 2-seater coupes/supercars for performance, and large passenger cars for long trips; you will get points.
At least it was, but over time, manufacturers and people wanted to get something that could do 2 or more of these things at once. One of the more capable or "hybrid" sub-categories of the two is the sports sedan or sports sedan. These are perfect for blurring the line between something like a Chevy Corvette and a Honda Accord.
Let's face it, among those who want a performance car, very few come to race days regularly. Many of us may find it difficult to live with a car that can't carry more than 2 people or more luggage than a short weekend. In this case, a sports sedan makes the most sense and BMW knows it.
This is one of the reasons M3 exists in the first place. The M3 has seen its fair share of competitors wearing AMG or Quadrifoglio jerseys among other things. But Jaguar wants to shake things up and come up with Jaguar XE SV Project 8.
Which one would attract more customers in the market, Jaguar XE SV Project 8 or BMW M3 CS?
To give credit when it's due, the M3 CS is a phenomenal car. Whether it's the E30 or the G80, all generations are impressive cars. The F80 is no different in this respect. Second, the M3 CS costs just under $100,000. The Jag on the other hand charged almost double! Plus, we can't ignore that the M3 is a BMW and the Project 8 is a Jaguar, so there's going to be a big difference in fit, finish and build quality.
But like many modern BMWs, it looks a bit bland compared to the signature Jaguar and is much more interesting. Jag is also faster and stronger than Bimmer. Jag's turbocharged V8 produces 592 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, far more than the M3 CS. The Intelligent Driveline Dynamics full-time four-wheel drive system assists the rear, so cornering is quicker but also retains some neat RWD handling tricks.
Jaguar only produced 300 of these, so it's not only more exclusive than most other sports sedans, but it's sure to attract a second glance from passersby. Overall, the 2018 M3 CS was the most powerful M3 when it was launched, and it achieved a Nürburgring lap time of 7 minutes 38 seconds. But the Jag completed the lap in 7 minutes and 21 seconds and holds the record as the fastest 4-door car circling the Nürburgring.
Comparison among three car models
The regular XE is a good sedan with a nice exterior and a desirable interior. The fit and finish could be better, but the car still looks good. In terms of performance, there's not much room to complain, but there's certainly room for improvement.
3 engine types available are 4-cylinder turbo, 6-cylinder supercharged, and 4-cylinder turbo diesel. The turbocharged V6 develops 340-380 hp and provides enough thrills for the sedan to be "sporty". But Jaguar wanted to create a true sports sedan with a sportier focus.
The BMW M3 CS is a 4-door monster with a 453 hp, 443 lb-ft inline 6-cylinder engine. The 7-speed amt just sends all that power to the rear wheels, so it's also great fun! It would take more than a 300-400 hp sedan to compete with it, and that would be AMG, N, and other powerful versions of regular sedans.
Now to make a sports sedan, most manufacturers would take the normal sedan, tune its engine for more horsepower, add an air intake and diffuser, maybe give it a rear spoiler, make some wheels and/or brakes bigger, and add racing seating features, and call it a day. But the folks at Jaguar know that won't be enough to make it difficult for the M3 CS.
Will XE SV Project 8 gain another opportunity in such fierce competition?
Jaguar knew what it was up to, so they went with Project 8. So much so that the hood and front door are the only identical components between the XE and Project 8! They wanted to use carbon-ceramic brakes for one, but the wheels weren't big enough, so they changed the wheels and arches to match the wheels.
Because of this, the entire front bumper has been updated, even the headlights. The XE handled well, but they also wanted to increase the track, which is the distance between the left and right wheels. That means flared wheel arches, and that means new front and rear panels as well as new rear doors. Instead of tweaking the engine, they were fitted with a new 5-liter turbocharged V8.
But there wasn't enough space, so they redesigned the engine compartment too! The new engine is heavier, so the bonnet and front bumper are now carbon fiber to reduce weight and lower the center of gravity. They upgraded the suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers packing rose joints.
The car also has ceramic bearings, like race cars. The eight-speed transmission and 4WD system are improved more strongly than the regular version, and Jaguar has also removed the spare wheel and wheel arches to make room for a rear diffuser and aero components.