The latest addition to Jaguar's fleet at its Nürburgring Nordschleife engineering test center is its very first taxi. Based on the latest all-aluminum long wheelbase Jaguar XJ Supersport with Sport and Speed Pack options, the 'Nürburgring Taxi' boasts 510hp from its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine and a top speed of 174mph.
Frank Klaas at Jaguar Land Rover said: "We've been running a Nürburgring driving program from our Nordschleife engineering test centre for some time. It's the very best place to demonstrate the dynamic abilities of the current Jaguar XF, XJ and XK models.
"We've found the XJ Supersport most often surprises people with its speed simply because they perceive it to be a large luxury car. The XJ is both those things but its aluminum architecture means it's rigid and lightweight too, which make it a very good track car. To underline that, our engineering team created a special Nürburgring Taxi version so our trained drivers can safely take passengers on very hot laps!"
Finished in non-standard matte grey paint with exterior Sport Pack, the Jaguar Nürburgring Taxi is also specified with the Speed Pack - which raises its electronically limited top speed from 155 to 174mph - but is otherwise mechanically standard.
Inside there's ample room for four, although a few of the XJ's creature comforts have been replaced to keep occupants secure. The standard leather-trimmed seats are gone, replaced by four race seats, each equipped with four-point harnesses. A bespoke rollcage completes the interior changes.
We had a chance to ride in the Jaguar Taxi and you can read about our experiences in the September 2012 issue of European Car Magazine.