Jaguar claims Nürburgring record

Jaguar XE SV Project 8.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8.

I received the following press release which originated in Jaguar, in which they claim Jaguar has now won the lap record for the fastest four-door sedan around Germany’s fearsome Nürburgring circuit.

It goes on to say, “The British brand’s XE SV Project 8 has lapped the 20 km German circuit in 7m 22s in the hands of Belgian touring car driver Vincent Radermacker, beating the 7m 32s lap set by the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in 2016.”

To give the Jaguar PR department its due they do admit that the Project 8 shares very little in common with the regular XE. It has been heavily modified by Jaguar’s in-house performance division, Special Vehicle Operations (SVO).

“The SVO design and engineering team’s mission was to create the most track-focused road-legal Jaguar in history – not only the fastest, but also the most agile,” explained SVO director, Mark Stanton. “As a result, only the roof and front door skins of Project 8’s body are carried-over unaltered from XE and 75 percent of its mechanical hardware is new. This astonishing Nürburgring Nordschleife record validates the success of such extensive changes.”

“Under the bonnet is the brand’s supercharged 5.0 liter V8 tuned to produce 441 kW of power and 700 Nm of torque; enough to make it the most powerful road-going Jaguar yet.”

“Much of the restyled bodywork is made out of Formula One-style carbon fiber and the brakes are also track-specification carbon ceramic for maximum stopping power.”

This is what happens when PR departments are given free rein. Firstly, there is no “official” Nordschleife record. The FIA acknowledges “records” at official FIA sanctioned events. Secondly, this Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is as much a Jaguar XE as my Daihatsu Mira, other than the “roof and front door skins.” The real facts are that a special was built by Jaguar to look like a Jaguar XE. For example, it has a 441 kW V8 engine, while the Jaguar XE has a 280 kW engine. In the hands of a race driver its time for one lap of the Nordschleife was the quickest that has been recorded by a four door sedan. It is not the quickest car there has ever been at the Nordschleife.