Jaguar has taken the mighty XE SV Project 8 to the track once again. After setting a production sedan lap record on the Nurburgring last year, the supercharged super saloon was out to do the same in the USA. Out to break records at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The XE SV Project 8 takes the compact sedan and shoehorns in Jaguar’s most potent engine. The 5.0L supercharged V8 that would normally be found in the Jaguar F-Type or the Range Rover Supercharged. Under this short hood, that beast produces 592 hp. The company calls it the most powerful street-legal vehicle in the company’s history. Each one will be hand-built at the SVO Tech Centre in England.
With hot shoe Randy Pobst behind the wheel, the car ticked off a 1 minute 37.54 second time on the 3.6 km Laguna Seca track. “Designed, engineered and hand-assembled by Special Vehicle Operations, this record-breaking sedan is made for the world’s most demanding driving enthusiasts,” said Jaguar Special Operations Managing Director Michael van ser Sande.
That lap puts the XE Project 8 a hair shy of a full second quicker around the circuit than the next-fastest production sedan. A Cadillac CTS-V, and appropriately also a time set by Pobst. It’s more than two seconds faster than a BMW M5 or an Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio and three-seconds clear of the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S sedan according to Jaguar.
The Project 8 is loaded with go-fast bits. It starts from the ground, with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. There are ceramic wheel bearings and a suspension adjustable for height and camber. The widened fenders help clear the bigger rubber and the larger wheels needed to make room for carbon ceramic brake discs.
The front splitter and massive rear wing might look silly, but they are functional. The rear wing adds 120 kg of downforce at top speed. Though that 322 km/h limited top speed means that you’re going to see a bit less of an aero shove on the highway. In an effort to trim kilos from the car, the hood, bumpers, fenders, side skirts, and of course the splitter and spoiler are all made from carbon fibre. That’s on top of the XE’s aluminum structure.
Like it says in the production part of the production sedan record, Jag is planning on building these sedans. With two specs as well. One gets performance front seats with magnesium frames and a heavily bolstered rear bench. The other drops the rear seat in favour of a four-point harness bar and carbon fibre racing seats up front.
Production of the fiercest cat will be limited to just 300 worldwide. No word on how many of those will make it here, but at least a few will. Canadian pricing for the Project 8 will start from $208,800.
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