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Jaguar's 200mph Project 8 is a new 'Ring record holder

Video: world's fastest production saloon is Jag's madcap new XE SV Project 8

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Nürburgring cynics, look away now. Today’s news concerns a new lap record, and one with an especially complex caveat. Ladies and gents, the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 has lapped the Nordschleife in 7min 21.23sec, “the fastest ever time by a four-door sedan in production-intent specification.”

The reason for the complexity is the startling 6m 57.5s set earlier in the year by an extremely modified Subaru WRX STI. Cast that aside and Jag’s Project 8 is essentially the quickest saloon car ever around the ‘Ring, taking 11 seconds out of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (and matching the pace of an independently lapped Ferrari 488 GTB) in the process. Not bad for a 1.7-ton car.

Watch the Alfa Giulia’s Ring lap here

If you want a recap, Project 8 is a deeply sensible XE saloon after it’s had the full Special Ops treatment at Jaguar. It powers all four wheels with a 592bhp supercharged V8, is swathed in carbon and can be ordered with just two seats and a roll cage. It’s by some margin the maddest Jaguar road car yet, and perhaps should be for £149,995, a £102k mark-up on the next most powerful XE. It does 200mph and hits 60mph in 3.3secs.

Its all-wheel drive ensures the lap itself is tidier than you might expect for a mightily powered Jag. There are occasional bursts of ‘busy’ steering from Belgian driver Vincent Radermecker, but he’s not exhibiting armfuls of corrective lock on the exit of every corner. We’ve no doubt the Project 8 will do that on demand, but clearly it’ll also hunker down, grip and focus if you ask it to.

Astounded? Amazed? Ambivalent? Watch the video above, and share your feelings below…

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