Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sets new speed record

(September 17, 2018) MONTEREY, Calif. — Jaguar has announced it has established a new track record for the fastest four-door production sedan at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with its XE SV Project 8. Professional racing driver and Motor Trend contributor, Randy Pobst piloted the 592 horsepower sedan around the 2.238 mile road course in 1minute, 37.54 second, besting the previous record held by the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V by almost a second.

The announcement follows news last month in which Pobst set another benchmark time — this one for EVs — at the same circuit, in the new Jaguar I-PACE performance SUV; lapping the 11-turn track in 1min 48.18sec in a completely unmodified car.

From design concept to production, the XE SV Project 8 has always been envisioned as a canvas for which the team of designers and engineers at Special Vehicle Operations could push the boundaries of what is possible. In pursuit of creating a four-door car with genuine supercar performance engineers fine-tuned the car on some of the most thrilling test tracks around the world, including Germany’s famed Nürburgring Nordschleife. Late last year Jaguar announced a production-intent prototype of its XE SV Project 8 circled the 12.9mi. circuit in a record 7min 21.23 seconds.

Extensive changes to the XE have been made to create the brand’s most track-focused, road-legal, sedan; outside, only the roof panel and aluminum front doors remain unmodified.

Each of the 300 hand-built examples start life as a standard XE body-in-white arriving at the Special Vehicle Operations Technical Center in Coventry. Upon arrival the front firewall and rear subframe are modified to accommodate the specially tuned, supercharged, 5.0-liter V8 up front and a bespoke rear differential oil cooler — developed with learnings from the F-TYPE SVR — out back.

Unlike most high performance production sedans the all-wheel-drive XE SV Project 8 is studded with genuine motor racing technology, including 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 592hp and 516lb.-ft. of torque are routed through all four Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires via an 8-speed Quickshift automatic ZF transmission, helping to propel the car from 0-60 mph in 3.4 secs. as the vehicle accelerates to an electronically limited 200 mph top speed.

The front uprights, two-part upper wishbones, ball joints in place of rubber bushings, twin coil springs, dampers, lower suspension bushings, anti-roll bars and latest specification carbon ceramic brakes are all new and bespoke to the XE SV Project 8.