Jaguar has a fresh focus on making its mark on the performance car scene, with its most powerful production car ever, the XE SV Project 8, leading the charge. The four-door sedan has now zipped around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in record time, making it not just the fastest production car in Jaguar's stable, but the fastest production saloon in the world.

Revealed by Jaguar earlier in the year, the XE SV Project 8 packs the most powerful iteration of the company's 5.0-liter supercharged V8 we've seen, sending 441 kW (591 hp) through all four wheels. This slingshots the car to 60 mph (98 km/h) in just 3.3 seconds and makes for a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h).

This brute force was unleashed at the Nürburgring by racing driver Vincent Radermecker in a prototype Project 8 prepared by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division. It clocked a lap time around the 12.9-mile (20.7 km) circuit of 7 minutes and 21.23 seconds, almost 11 seconds quicker than the previous sports sedan to hold the record.

"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," said Mark Stanton, Director of Jaguar Land Rover's SVO Division. "As a result, only the roof and front door skins of Project 8's body are carried-over unaltered from XE and 75 per cent of its mechanical hardware is new. This astonishing Nürburgring Nordschleife record validates the success of such extensive changes."

Jaguar will be hand-assembling 300 XE SV Project 8s, with pricing starting at £149,995 in the UK (US$200,000). The company is showing off its most extreme street-legal Jaguar at the LA Auto Show this week and you can watch it tear up the Nürburgring in the video below.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover 1, 2

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