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 600hp, 321km/h four-door road-legal saloon lapped the 2.238-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 1 minute 37.54 seconds – almost a second faster than the previous production saloon record – with racing driver Randy Pobst at the wheel.
The most extreme Jaguar yet produced, XE SV Project 8 is a saloon 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 7 minutes 21.23 seconds.
Project 8 is the ultimate expression of Jaguar’s XE sports saloon. While based on XE’s lightweight aluminium-intensive monocoque, each of the 300 hand-built Project 8 cars are modified at the SV Technical Centre in Coventry to accommodate the specially tuned, supercharged 5-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 bigger brakes.
The V8’s power is routed through all four Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres through an 8-speed Quickshift automatic ZF transmission, helping to propel the car from 0-96km/h in 3.3 seconds and to an electronically limited top speed of 321km/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-seater model features Jaguar’s latest front Performance seats with magnesium frames, plus a more heavily contoured rear squab to maximise support. The optional two-seater 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.