When Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) pulled the wraps off the most hardcore Jaguar XE ever, the company intended the XE SV Project 8 to be a four-door supercar killer. And to put money where their mouth is, the Project 8 is officially the world’s fastest saloon car to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The Project 8 went one full circle around the Green Hell in 7 minutes and 21.23 seconds, humiliating the previous record holder, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio by some 11 seconds! That puts the Project 8 on par with some big names such as the Ferrari 488 GTB and Dodge Viper ACR. Before we go any further, jump on-board the Project 8 on its record-setting lap.
So how did an executive saloon achieve such ludicrous performance? For starters, the Project 8 is unlike your run off the mill XE – only the roof and front door skins are carried over from the regular models. Around 75 per cent of its mechanical hardware is all new and unrelated to the standard car.
The record-breaking car came equipped with the optional two-seat track pack that slaps on racing bucket seats with four-point harnesses and retention hoops. Other than that, the rest of the vehicle is identical to the production model.
Under the hood you’ll find a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 generating 592 hp and 700 Nm of torque, sending drive to all four wheels via an eight-speed Quickshift transmission and Jaguar’s All-Wheel Drive system (AWD). Sprinting from 0 to 96 km/h takes only 3.3 seconds, quicker than the highly acclaimed F-Type SVR! On full whack, the Project 8 will reach speeds of 322 km/h.
Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, John Edwards added: “SVO exists to push the boundaries of performance, luxury and all-terrain capability. The hand-assembled XE SV Project 8 takes that principle to the limit, extracting supercar-beating performance from Jaguar’s most compact four-door sedan.” Only 300 left-hand drive will be made, and registration of interest is now open.