The new Jaguar XE 300 SPORT has made its debut by setting a unique lap record. The special edition sports saloon became the first car to complete a flying lap of the world’s longest artificial outdoor ice circuit, at Flevonice in the Netherlands – but it had to beat a Winter Olympic gold medallist skater to set the fastest time.
After anchoring Hungary to gold in the 5,000m relay at the 2018 Winter Olympics, speed skater Shaolin Sándor Liu set a tough benchmark, negotiating the track at Flevonice Sports and Funpark in 4 minutes 4 seconds.
To give the icy time trial an extra edge, Shaolin’s girlfriend – Team GB skater Elise Christie – was part of team Jaguar. With Elise in the passenger seat, the XE 300 SPORT took full advantage of Jaguar’s advanced all-wheel drive and sophisticated traction technologies to maintain its composure. Jaguar Stability Development Leader Sean Haughey lapped the track in 3 minutes 3 seconds at an average speed of 36mph.
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Ice is one of the most demanding surfaces for any vehicle to contend with and this race demonstrated the XE’s all-surface capability and unrivalled handling in adverse conditions.”
Staying true to Jaguar’s sports car DNA, the new 300 SPORT is equipped with the advanced 300PS 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine, which powers the XE from 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds. With 400Nm of torque, its effortless acceleration around the 3km ice circuit was too much for the Olympic Champion.
Shaolin Sándor Liu, said: “I thought I would have a big advantage over the car on the ice and was pretty happy with my time considering the conditions but when I saw the XE 300 SPORT take off from the start line, I had a feeling it would be faster.”
Elise Christie said: “I was desperate to pit myself against the XE 300 SPORT but sitting in the passenger seat gave me an experience I’ll never forget. I didn’t think it would be able to lap the track as quickly as an Olympic Champion, but the Jaguar’s all-wheel-drive traction was really impressive.”
The new 300 SPORT joins the XE line-up and is available on the XF and XF Sportbrake featuring unique exterior and interior design elements. While the XE is fitted exclusively with the 300PS 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine, the XF and XF Sportbrake are also available with Jaguar’s 300PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel.
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