Jaguar's most powerful road-going car, the XE SV Project 8, is on display at the LA motor show, marking the first time it has been seen since setting a new record for four-door cars at the Nürburgring.
The car clocked a 7min 21.23sec time along the 12.9-mile course. A video of the lap is shown below.
The 592bhp saloon model, a Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) creation, beat the previous quickest four-door, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, and its 7min 32sec time.
Like most 'Ring record claims, timing was handled by the manufacturer, but it has released a video (below) showing the lap in its entirety to back the claim.
Nearing the end of its pre-production schedule and on course for customer deliveries from May 2018, the XE SV is the second special-edition model launched by SVO, following the Jaguar F-Type Project 7 in 2014. It will be hand-built at SVO’s Technical Centre in Coventry rather than alongside regular XEs in Solihull.
A Jaguar spokesman told Autocar that more than 100 XE SVs - a third of the total due for production - had sold before the car made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. They added that news of the Project 8's 'Ring record will ensure that the "entire production run will be sold out soon".
Like the Project 7, the special XE model makes use of Jaguar's supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine. But power has been ramped up to unprecedented levels, peaking at 23bhp more than the special-edition F-Type. The XE SV is all-wheel drive, rather than being rear-driven like the Project 7, and uses a specially tuned version of its eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
The Project 8 is Jaguar's most accelerative current model, with a 0-60mph time of 3.3sec beating the all-wheel-drive F-Type SVR by two-tenths. This edges the XE SV into the realms of the Porsche 911 GT3 and ahead of fellow limited-run track special, the BMW M4 GTS.
Jaguar's £149,995 model uses racing-specification bodywork to produce downforce. It gets an adjustable front splitter, a flat underbody, a rear diffuser and carbonfibre bumper, and an adjustable rear wing.
Although the exterior looks broadly similar to the regular XE, it has been extensively reworked: 75% of the bodywork is new, with only the front doors and roof unchanged from the production models. In particular, the front headlights have been moved forward by 14mm to allow for extra cooling and engine work.
The Project 8 gets a bespoke carbonfibre bonnet that's 3kg lighter than the production version. It also includes an air extraction duct for extra engine cooling.