Monterey, California - Jaguar describes it as the world’s fastest production sedan, but the XE SV Project 8 is really a muscle-car, built the old-fashioned way, by taking a compact sedan body and shoe-horning the biggest, most powerful, most badass engine Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations workshop in Coventry has ever inflicted on a street-car under the bonnet.
It’s a five-litre supercharged V8 rated at 441kW and 700Nm, speaking with authority through a titanium variable active exhaust system, driving all four wheels via a special ZF Quickshift eight-speed automatic transmission, launching the Project 8 to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and on to an electronically limited 322km/h.
Each of the 300 Project 8s to be built will be hand-assembled at Browns Lane with carbon ceramic disc brakes, F1-style ceramic wheel bearings and fully adjustable damping, ride height and camber.
It already holds the four-door production sedan record at the Nurburgring with a best time around the iconic 20 kilometre circuit of 7m21.23.
Now Jaguar has taken this midsized monster to Laguna Seca, home of the terrifying Corkscrew, the most intimidating corner in motorsport, and given it to veteran race driver Randy Pobst, holder of the production sedan record at this circuit.
That benchmark - 1m38.52s - was set in 2015 in a 6.2-litre supercharged Cadillac CTS-V wielding 470kW; could the big-clawed cat match that, asked Pobst. But as you’ll see below, it did morte than that. Pobst knocked almost a second off his own record time in the Cadillac with a best lap of 1m37.54s. Respect.