The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is now the fastest sedan to lap the Laguna Seca race track.
It’s been over a year since Jaguar unveiled their most powerful sedan to date, a highly tuned version of their renowned Jaguar XE. They call it the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, which is quite the mouthful, but it is a British car, and they’ve got a tendency to tag on letters and numbers to make things seem more impressive.
And the Project 8 is indeed very impressive. Under the hood is a 5.0-L supercharged V8 pumping out just shy of 600 horses (that’s 595 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque). Zero to sixty is done in just 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 200 mph.
Power is routed to an 8-speed automatic transmission before heading to all four wheels thanks to all-wheel-drive. A full aero kit, including a big rear wing, carbon fiber front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser, keeps the car stable despite being hucked around corners faster than most cars traverse highways.
Each wheel is covered in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires which are stopped by carbon ceramic brakes. Six-piston front calipers get those wheels stopped in record time while also keeping weight down. Which is still higher than the regular XE at 3,847 lbs, but you can blame the big 5.0-L engine for most of that weight.
Last year, the Project 8 lapped Germany’s Nurburgring in a blistering (for a sedan) 7:21.23 and was the fastest production sedan to have ever done so. This year, Jaguar took their ultra-fast four-door to Laguna Seca to make another record-setting lap time of 1:37.54.
Randy Pobst of Motor Trend drove both the current record-holding Project 8 as well as the previous record holder, the Cadillac CTS-V. The Project 8 managed to lap Laguna Seca a full second faster than the Cadillac, with Pobst marvelling at how much tighter in the corners the Project 8 is in comparison to the Caddy.
Where will Jaguar take their fast sedan next? We’ll be sure to keep a careful watch.