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The XE SV Project 8 is Jaguar’s most powerful road legal car ever, and it holds the record for the fastest lap time for a 4-door production sedan in ‘The Green Hell’, set in November last year. Now, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has set another lap record at the 3.6km WeatherTech Raceway in California, lapping the circuit in 1:37.54 minutes. With 592bhp and 700Nm of peak twist available on tap, Jaguar’s fastest four-door sedan achieved this feat at the WeatherTech Raceway with Randy Pobst behind the wheel. The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has broken the previous lap record, which was held by the Cadillac CTS-V( 1:38.52 minutes in 2016).
Propelling the XE SV Project 8 is a 5-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine (taken from the XJR575), tweaked by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations to produce 25bhp more. The engine is matched to an 8-speed automatic gearbox which sends power to all four wheels via Jaguar’s AWD system. The sedan breaks the 100kmph barrier in just 3.7 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 321kmph. The car is hand built and is limited to just 300 units worldwide.
But 80 per cent of the components used are new. The XE SV Project 8 gets a number of aero and suspension modifications to make the best out of the 5-litre V8 under the hood to make this the “most rewarding Jaguar driver’s car ever”. It gets an adjustable front splitter which extends up to 60mm, a flat underbody and a rear diffuser. Carbon fibre is used generously to save weight. The front and rear bumpers, bonnet and the adjustable rear wing are made of carbon fibre. The front and rear track can be increased by 24mm and 73mm for more stability. The lateral stiffness is up by 27 per cent, to reduce body roll. The flared front and rear wheel arches house 20 inch forged aluminium alloys and are shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. The sedan also gets F1-inspired silicon nitride ceramic wheel bearings, electronic rear differential, adjustable camber and height adjustable suspension with ball joints.
The ‘Track Mode’ further increases the downforce to 122kg at 300kmph while making changes to the damping, steering and throttle response for sharper handling. The ride height is also lowered to 15mm as compared to the standard settings. The light weight carbon ceramic brakes (400mm and 396mm at the front and rear) use motorsport-grade Synthetic Racing Fluid (SRF) for maximum braking performance. To shed weight further, the exhaust system is made of titanium.
“The good thing about building only 300 cars, all hand-made, is that you can keep developing the car right up to the start of production. And we’ve done just that. The springs have got stiffer and so have the engine mounts. The suspension arm bushes have changed. The brakes have been refined for the exact pedal feel and performance we want. This has all been done to make the car even more responsive and to handle even better. But the biggest changes are to software. They are all small adjustments – to improve performance, feel, responsiveness, refinement. We keep honing the whole car, relentlessly.”
The car made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and is on sale internationally. The XE SV Project 8 is available in four-seat and the optional two-seat version, the latter being the more track focused one with carbon fibre racing seats and four point harnesses, shedding 12.2kg in the process. A solid metal panel and harness retention hoop increase the torsional rigidity by 27 per cent over the four-seat version.