Jaguar XE SV Project 8 prototype spotted at Nurburgring (video)

Jaguar has been spotted out and about on the Nurburgring thrashing a prototype version of the almighty Jaguar XE SV Project 8, potentially gunning for a lap record in the production sedan category.

The current production sedan lap record at the legendary circuit is in the hands of the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, which, funnily enough, competes in the same mid-size sedan segment as this Jag seen here. Could Jaguar overtake the Italian thoroughbred?

Well, the car certainly has the credentials to surpass plenty of records. It already wins in the power wars, with its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 generating an Earth-vibrating 441kW. This is the most powerful engine fitted to a production mid-size premium sedan, and actually the most powerful engine fitted to any production Jaguar, ever.

Out on the Nurburgring the prototype displays a distinct rigour despite all that power going to the rear wheels only. There is, of course, a lot of aero wizardry going on, with a large rear wing integrated into the boot lid, along with a very low and sharp splitter at the front.

From the back you can spot the widened track, which no doubt helps the XE brace the road and improve stability over the regular XE. Some thick, track-ready tyres also help put that power to the ground. The extent of the extra width in tyres and track are supported by pumped out wheel arches.

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Jaguar is planning to launch only 300 examples of the Project 8 onto the market. It will be built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, just like the Project 7 muscle car based on the F-Type. The open-top sports car was available in Australia, in very limited numbers, which means there is some hope for the XE SV to head Down Under at some point. Check out the video below to see how she goes.

Brett is the editor and founder of Performance Drive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.