Eat that, Cadillac CTS-V.
There should be no debate that Jaguar Land Rover's Special Operations division has created one heck of a monster in the XE SV Project 8. But the British automaker put any lingering doubt to rest this week when it set a new lap record for “production” sedans (however loose the definition) at no less challenging a track than Laguna Seca.
Motor Trend's Randy Pobst man-handled the stripped-down, amped-up performance sedan around the notorious California circuit in a blistering 1 minute and 37.54 seconds to claim the record. That's almost a full second quicker than the previous record-holder.
The bragging rights belonged until now to the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V, which clocked a 1:38.52 lap time. That's not to mention the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (clocked at 1:39.65), BMW M5 (1:39.81), and Mercedes-AMG C63 S (1:40.50).
As well it should, considering what JLR's skunkworks has done with the compact luxury sedan. The XE SV Project 8 packs a retuned version of Jaguar's celebrated 5.0-liter supercharged V8, massaged to deliver a massive 592 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. That's enough to send the limited-production super-sedan rocketing to 60 in 3.4 seconds (or 62 in 3.7) and on to a top speed claimed at 200 mph.
Jaguar will only make 300 examples of the Project 8 sedan for consumption worldwide. The first examples are slated to be delivered to the United States later this year, each carrying a staggering sticker price of $187,500.
The super-sedan's Laguna Seca record comes after the I-Pace electric crossover clocked a lap at 1:48.18 in the hands of the same driver, setting a record on that track for electric vehicles. A pre-production example of the XE SV Project 8 also lapped the Nürburgring last year in 7:21.23, which is pretty darn impressive for a four-door sedan.