Jaguar’s supercar-rivalling XE SV Project 8 has confirmed its status as the world’s fastest four-door car by setting a new track record.
The 441kW, 322km/hfour-door road-legal sedan lapped the 3.6kmWeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 1min 37.54sec – almost a second faster than the previous production sedan record – with racing driver Randy Pobst at the wheel.
The most extreme Jaguar yet produced, XE SV Project 8 is a sedan with genuine supercar performance. Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations engineers fine-tuned the car on some of the world’s most thrilling test tracks, including Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife. Late last year XE SV Project 8 lapped the 12.9-mile circuit in a record 7min 21.23sec.
Each of the 300 hand-built Project 8 cars starts life as a standard XE body-in-white at the Special Vehicle Operations Technical Centre in Coventry. Work begins with modifications to accommodate the specially tuned, supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine and a bespoke rear differential.
Unlike most high-performance production saloons, the all-wheel-drive XE SV Project 8 is studded with genuine motor racing technology such as F1-style ceramic wheel bearings, adjustable ride height and adjustable camber.
The front and rear fenders are bespoke to accommodate larger, wider, wheels which are necessitated by the larger brakes. The V8’s power is routed through all four Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres through an eight-speed Quickshift automatic ZF transmission, helping to propel the car from 0-100km/h in 3.7sec and an electronically limited top speed of 322km/h.
In order to achieve this performance, the car receives significant aerodynamic and suspension upgrades, including a ‘Track’ mode for maximum downforce and further improvements to the damping, throttle and steering response.
Project 8 is available in two specifications. The standard four-seat model features Jaguar’s latest front Performance seats with magnesium frames, plus a more heavily contoured rear squab to maximise support. The optional two-seat Track Pack includes lightweight front carbon fibre racing seats with four-point harnesses fixed to a harness retention hoop in place of the rear seat.
All Project 8s will be built in left-hand drive configuration only.