Jaguar’s near production-ready XE SV Project 8 has smashed the saloon car lap record on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. A 7min 21.2sec lap time makes it around 11 seconds faster than the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which until now held the mantle of ‘fastest four-door’.
Choosing its words carefully, Jaguar describes the feat as the ‘fastest ever time by a four door sedan in production-intent specification’. The semantics of that phrase arouse a certain amount of curiosity, and illustrate just how complicated – and contentious – the business of setting lap times at the ‘Ring has become. Manufacturers continue to see such feats as marketing gold, just as we continue to question the relevance of chasing such numbers.
The lap in question was driven by racing driver Vincent Radermecker, perhaps best known in the region for partnering Rickard Rydell in Volvo’s works team for the 1999 BTCC season. His time puts the Project 8 ahead of some seriously potent machinery: the Porsche 911 997 GT2 RS, Lamborghini Aventador and Pagani Zonda F Clubsport have all set slower ‘best’ laps, albeit in magazine-organised tests.
Production of the 300-plus examples Jaguar’s SVO department is planning to build begins early next year. For now, a new ‘Ring record is another box ticked on the path towards that official unveil.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk