Saturday, 2 December, Pune: Saturdays are supposed to be the most exciting days of the week. And this particular Saturday, 2nd December 2017 currently tops my list of some of the most exciting Saturdays I’ve recently had. Thanks to Jaguar. The Jaguar Art of Performance Tour was in town, and by the grace of Car Gods up in heaven, I had the privilege to be there.
What is Jaguar’s Art of Performance Tour?
Jaguar is a luxury sports car maker. And while you can experience the luxury part of the cars every time you be in one, you can’t test the ‘sports’ genes of them (unless you own an empty piece of tarmac laden land, of course; don’t do that on public tarmacs,we advice and strongly recommend). So what Jaguar does is arranges the necessary piece of tarmac and sets up tracks for you to explore the car’s potentials to the max, for you. There are race car drivers and professionals to take you through the experience. They brief you about the event, the cars and demonstrate the courses of the drives before letting you go mad max in the driving seats.
This years Art of Performance Tour in Pune was held at Life Republic, Sector 2, Hinjewadi. Closed streets, marked tracks, cones, tents, fast cars…Heaven!
Post registration, there’s a briefing held, giving you the details of the courses at the event. Mr. Rayomand Banajee, owner of Rayo Racing, took us through the set of rules and instructions to be followed.
First up was the slalom course. To all those who are unfamiliar to that, slalom course is driving through cones(without hitting them of course), in a zig-zag manner. The line up of cars for this course was:
- Jaguar XE 2.0
- Jaguar XF 2.5T
- Jaguar F-Pace 2.0
The slalom course truely tests your steering control and throttle inputs. It also puts the chassis and suspension of the car to test. The XE here does it best, no surprise, it being the smallest and lightest here. It has a beautiful chassis balance and goes through the course like a cake walk. The XF is no slouch either. But thats not the point of surprise. The F-Pace is the real deal here. Its an SUV, so it should be swaying and being all over the place. Nope! Its surprisingly quick on turns with minimal body roll.
Next up was the Lane Changing and Braking course. As per what Mr.Rayomond said, you experience this on Indian highways, and he’s right. In this course, you speed up the car and take it to a high speed, make a quick lane change, replicating sudden lane changes on real streets, and brake hard to a stand-still. This course is intended to test the handling as well as braking performance of the car and to test the hand of ABS and stability control to carry out sudden manoeuvres smoothly. The line up of cars for this course was:
- Jaguar XF 2.5 T
- Jaguar XJ L
- Jaguar F-Pace R Sport
Two special cars here.
The XJ is Jaguar’s flagship luxury sedan. Notice the ‘L’ in the name here? So its the long wheel base version of the XJ. Sized up as a limo, dont expect this one to lump around like a limo though. While sitting in the lap of utter luxury, you’d hardly expect the car to do things like this during a drive. The XJ is astonishingly agile and quick steers don’t succeed in unsettling this big car. The ABS and the brakes work well to bring the XJ L, a nearly 2 tonne car, to a stop in a very short distance.
The other special car here is the F-Pace R. R indicates a sportier version, which gets a 3 litre turbocharged V6, making 294 bhp and 700Nm. Quick lane changes can be really scary in an SUV and then stopping hard and quick is scarier. The F-Pace R feels nothing like a big SUV doing all that. Its feels light, shrinks around you, has great braking power and stays composed to sudden changes in direction.
All in all, Jaguars are great handlers and should be really fun on twisty roads.
Next up is the Acceleration run. And, it will be done in an F-Type!
The F-Type is Jaguars answer to the sports car world. Here, both the F-Type V8 S and F-Type Coupe were lined up. Maybe they should include a ‘stare at the F-Type’ course in the performance tour. This, folks, is proclaimed to be one of the best looking cars of all times. An orange convertible F-Type with black wheels and a cherry red F-Type Coupe make a sight to behold.Well, before I get carried away gloating about how good an F-Type looks from all angles(meet me personally for that!) lets talk about the event.
Here, stretch of straight road was closed down for us to make a 0-100kph run. The F-type V8 S is powered by a 5 litre supercharged V8 making 510 horsepower. The Coupe version has the same engine but makes slightly more, 550 horsepower. When you floor the throttle, time warp kicks in, and before you catch two breathes, you’re past the 100kph mark.
TheV8 noises, the realisation of the speeds you achieve so quickly make you want to do it all day. I grinned past all of that Saturday because of the F-Type. Also, Mum got mad when told her that I drove a car at around 120 kph in a span of 100 metres, and that the car can do 320kph.
As I said earlier, it was one of the best Saturdays I’ve recently had!
The intent of Jaguar to showcase the potential of its cars and making customers and enthusiats take the Jaguar cars to their limits gets fulfilled at the Jaguar Performance Tour. A weekend with Jaguars doing what they do best is what we truely recommend.
To know more about the Jaguar Performance Tour, visit Jaguar.in