Cars are sent to Germany’s Nürburgring racetrack frequently to set lap records, but the closest ordinary people usually get is watching in-car footage on YouTube. But now Jaguar is offering rides around the Nürburgring in its XE SV Project 8 — which holds the lap record for fastest production sedan at the legendary track, according to Jaguar
The Nürburgring is open to the public, so anyone can drive the track for a fee. But over the years various automakers have also provided fast cars to serve as “race taxis,” giving rides to people who don’t have a car, or just want a more skilled professional driver to handle things. The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 is the perfect tool for the job.
In 2017, the car set a lap time of 7:21.23, which Jaguar claimed was a record for a four-door sedan. Subaru previously set a quicker time (6:57.50) with its WRX STI RA NBR Special, but that one-off vehicle hardly qualified as a production car. It was based on a stock WRX STI body shell, but was so extensively modified that it had basically nothing in common with the version people can buy. The XE SV Project 8 was 11 seconds quicker than the next-quickest true production sedan at the ‘Ring, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Granted, the XE SV Project 8 stretches the definition of “production car.” Only 300 will be made, and it retails for $188,495 in the United States. The car used for the Nürburgring lap record was also a preproduction model, although Jaguar said it was identical in specification to customer cars. The Project 8 was developed by Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division, which handles limited-edition models for Jag and sibling brand Land Rover.
As far as thrill rides go, the XE SV Project 8 has roller coasters beat. Based on Jaguar’s entry-level XE sedan, it packs a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 producing 592 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Jaguar claims the Project 8 will do zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and reach a top speed of 200 mph.
If you fancy a ride around the world’s most intense racetrack, laps in the XE SV Project 8 or a Jaguar XJR575 sedan can be booked online now for the 2019 season. Tickets start at 199 euros per lap, or about $227 at current exchange rates.