There’s been a democratisation of horsepower over the years as automakers squeeze more and more out of engines. That’s why it’s not surprising today to find saloons and estates with supercar levels of performance, and that’s exemplified by two – the Mercedes E63 S Estate and the Jaguar XE Project 8. One’s a saloon, and the other is an estate, and Carwow as a new video showing which packs a bigger punch.
The Mercedes packs a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that makes 612 bhp (45 kilowatts) and 626 pound-feet (850 Newton-metres) of torque. Power routes to all four wheels through a nine-speed gearbox with launch control. The Jaguar uses a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 to produce 600 bhp (447 kW) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque. The saloon has an all-wheel drive and an eight-speed transmission that lacks launch control.
Gallery: Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Monterey
The first test was a drag race. While the Jaguar was first off the starting line, the Mercedes, which is nearly 300 kilograms (661 pounds) heavier, quickly closed the gap and began pulling away before finishing first, though not by much. The Mercedes completed the quarter-mile race in 11.2 seconds while the Jaguar was hot on its heels at 11.3 seconds. Two rolling races gave each car a win, the Jaguar taking advantage of its higher top speed.
The final challenge Carwow put the two cars through was a brake test from 70 miles per hour (112 kilometres per hour). The Jaguar's carbon-ceramic brakes helped it stop in a shorter distance than the steel brakes of the Mercedes, but not by much, which is surprising when you consider the weight difference between the two. While the Jaguar Project 8 is a purpose-built car for the track, the Mercedes is a family estate with all the luxuries and tech, and both offer similar performance. Talk about a win for consumers.