It was just late last month that Jaguar unleashed its 600-horsepower super saloon, the XE SV Project 8. But with production limited to just 300 examples, and that too only in left-hand-drive spec, its appeal and accessibility is clearly limited. So, it was widely speculated that a more accessible and commonly available high performance variant of the XE was in the works. This week’s spy shots confirm those rumours.

Our spy snapper has spotted what could be the XE SVR, which promises to be an extremely potent take on the XE, albeit slightly watered down compared to the XE SV Project 8. This is evident from the large air intakes in the front bumper, quad exhausts at the back, beefy Brembo brakes. Although it’s not seen in the photos, our photographers says the tester has sport bucket seats, and he also says the soundtrack was unmistakably V8. Still, the fenders are not as butch as the ones seen in the limited edition version, suggesting a slight toning down in performance.

Mated to an eight-speed transmission, the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 is likely to put out around 510bhp, which will still make it more powerful than its American and German rivals. The XE SVR is also expected to benefit from some serious weight-saving measures and a specially tuned chassis.

Once it’s announced, it will be the third mainstream model to be fettled by the guys at Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations after the Range Rover SVR and Jaguar F-Type SVR.