Jaguar has returned to the Nurburgring and set a new class record with its brilliantly mad EX Project 8 saloon.
In lightweight two-seat Track Pack guise, a regular production option, the Project 8 lapped the 12.8-mile circuit in 7m18.361s, which is 2.9s faster than its previous best.
The time was set using off-the-shelf Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres, the French firm’s stickiest road-legal track rubber. At the time of writing the Project 8 is now seven seconds faster around the famous circuit than the next-fastest rival.
To help it on its way, the two-level adjustable twin-spring coilover suspension was set to its lowest, so that the front splitter and rear wing could be positioned for maximum downforce and corner speed.
The £149,995 (plus options) uber-saloon uses a 592bhp supercharged V8 to force its way to 200mph, passing 62mph in 3.7 seconds. Handling is aided by a completely flat and enclosed under-body, helping to suck the car to the floor at high speeds.
Production of the mighty four-door is scheduled to halt later this year. There are three spec options available, from the standard four-seater and the Track Pack car to an understated Touring spec, with a more discreet fixed rear spoiler and a limited 186mph top speed. Just 15 Touring cars will be made.