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Jaguar’s XE SV Project 8 shows what happens when company cars turn nasty

Written by: Neil

Jaguar’s XE has been named the fastest saloon in the world after a new souped-up version set not one, but two, lap records at a pair of the planet’s most renowned circuits.

When we say the ‘XE’, we’re not talking about the standard saloon you’ll find on many company car fleets across the UK right now.

Oh no, this is the XE SV Project 8 – a new limited edition model, powered by a meaty 591bhp supercharged five-litre V8 petrol engine.

With power sent through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to all four wheels, this exceptional XE can blast off to 62mph in 3.7 seconds before topping out at 200mph. This makes it the quickest, most powerful road-legal Jaguar ever.

What records has the XE SV Project 8 smashed?

Jaguar has just released footage of the XE SV Project 8 lapping the 2.238-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California in 1min 37.54s – almost a second faster than the previous production sedan record.

Back in November, it completed a lap of Germany’s famed 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife in a record 7min 21.23s.

How is the XE SV Project 8 different to the regular car?

This spectacular saloon is the latest beast to emerge from Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, which fine-tuned the XE SV Project 8 on some of the world’s most thrilling test tracks.

In addition to this phenomenal pace, the car has been blessed with genuine motor racing technology, such as F1-style ceramic wheel bearings, adjustable ride height and adjustable camber.

The front and rear fenders have been modified to accommodate larger, wider wheels, necessitated by the larger brakes.

'Made for enthusiasts'

Michael van der Sande, managing director of JLR Special Vehicle Operations, said: “This Laguna Seca lap record is another powerful demonstration of the Jaguar XE SV Project 8’s performance credentials.

“This record-breaking sedan is made for the world’s most demanding driving enthusiasts.”

Sadly, only 300 examples will ever be produced, coming with a price-tag of £149,995.

Anyone with the cash to buy an XE SV Project 8 can go for the standard four-seat model, which features Jaguar’s latest front Performance seats with magnesium frames, plus a more heavily contoured rear squab to maximise support.

Or there’s the two-seat Track Pack, which switches in lightweight front carbon fibre racing seats with four-point harnesses fixed to a harness retention hoop in place of the rear seat.

We know what we’d pick…

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, added: “This version isn’t exactly what you’d call ‘fleet friendly’, but what a statement that a humble saloon can outpace supercars like the F-Type.”  

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