Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sets new four-door saloon lap record around Nurburgring

The most powerful road-going Jaguar ever made, the XE SV Project 8, has smashed the Nurburgring lap record for four-door saloons previously held by the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. With a lap time of 7m 21s, it beat the Giulia's 7m 32s time by an incredible 11 seconds.

The Project 8 is based on the compact XE saloon, but has been totally overhauled by Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) to turn it into a supercar-baiting beast. Under the bonnet lies a 592bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine, which puts power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. With a 0-60mph sprint of 3.3 seconds, it's the quickest car in Jaguar's current model line-up – but at £149,995, it's also the most expensive.

Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sets new Nurburgring record
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Jaguar XE SV Project 8 sets new Nurburgring record

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There's very little regulation surrounding Nurburgring lap timing. It's currently handled by the manufacturers themselves, often lending a note of suspicion to seemingly incredible claims. To combat this, Jaguar has released a video showing the lap in its entirety.

John Edwards, SVO managing director, said: "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.

"The Nurburgring Nordschleife record underlines our commitment to deliver the most extreme Jaguar ever to Project 8 clients, who will soon experience this sensational sedan for themselves."

Though the XE SV Project 8 looks outwardly similar to the regular XE, it shares very little with that car. Seventy five per cent of the bodywork is new, and only the front doors and roof are unchanged from the production model. The widened bodywork accommodates massive 305mm-wide rear tyres, while even the headlights have been moved forward to allow for extra cooling for that massive engine.

Jaguar says it expects the full 300-model run of the Project 8 to be sold out soon, telling Autocar that more than a third had sold before the car was shown in the flesh.

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