Nordschleife lap times seem to last mere weeks in the current power-obsessed climate in the automotive industry. And at today's LA Motor Show, Jaguar has revealed that its limited run XE SV Project 8 has stripped the four-door saloon lap record from the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Making its dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year, the XE SV Project 8 is Jaguar's most powerful and track-focussed saloon car to date. During its testing and development at the Nurburgring, it powered to a four-door track record with a 7min 21 second lap, demolishing the 7min 32 second time of the Alfa.
It's not the first time Jag has ruled the roost at the Nordschleife, as the XJ220 held that honour for any and all production cars for 8 years, although the company still to this day mentions the '90s supercar very little.
The XE SV Project 8 certainly pushes the limits of the road car term, with a nearly bespoke construction needed to house a new engine and drivetrain in the XE package that is certainly a tight squeeze. Sticking with the hotrod recipe of forcing the largest, most powerful engine the company produces into its smallest car, the 592bhp Project 8 will go down as one of the craziest endeavours from Jaguar to date.
Capable of reaching 60mph in 3.3 seconds using a torque vectoring all-wheel drive system, the heavily modified XE also sports a roll cage, a large rear wing and other motorsport-derived aerodynamic trinkets that keep it slippery enough to join the 200mph club. The 5.0-litre supercharged V8 found in other top spec Jags is crammed under the XE's bonnet in its ultimate state of tune, with a round figure of 600PS being quoted thanks to some ECU trickery.
Without further ado, here's the lap:
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The amount of grip on show is pure motorsport; not once does the driver need to correct any hint of oversteer.
Mark Stanton (Director of Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations) unveiled the extensive work that went into developing the manic saloon, saying: “The SVO design and engineering team’s mission was to create the most track-focused road-legal Jaguar in history – not only the fastest, but also the most agile. As a result, only the roof and front door skins of Project 8’s body are carried-over unaltered from XE and 75per cent of its mechanical hardware is new. This astonishing Nürburgring Nordschleife record validates the success of such extensive changes.”
300 of the left-hand-drive-only (due to packaging) specials will be sold worldwide at a slightly stingy £149,995. So although the Alfa has it for value, the Jag definitely takes home the time attack title.
What are your thoughts on this supercharged, supercar-baiting saloon? Would you take one over the Quadrifoglio? Tell us what you think in the comments below!