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Jaguar Art Of Performance: A 230km/h Jaguar Test Drive In Bangalore

Stephen Neil

Jaguar India hosted the Art Of Performance Tour in Bangalore during the first weekend of 2019, and who could ever say no to driving all the cars in the Jaguar India product line-up? Jaguar in India sells the XE, XF, XJ, F-Pace and F-Type, and the Art Of Performance Tour focuses on allowing customers to actually drive and experience all of the cars in a safe and controlled environment.

It is in-fact almost like a regular test-drive, but one gets to experience the car in a much better way, at full-throttle. The first Art Of Performance Tour in 2019 was held at Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited, near Hosur, targeted at prospective customers in Bangalore and Hosur.

An otherwise seldom used runway was now being used by several Jaguar cars, performing different maneuvers and speed runs. A neatly set up space with refreshments welcomed participants of the Art Of Performance Tour, which included existing customers, prospective customers and a few scribes.

The display area proudly showcased a Jaguar F-Type S Coupe, an XJ-L and an F-Pace. The participants' briefing instructed us on the do's and don'ts while on the course and we were then led to the cars.

The runway at Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited was neatly sectioned into three experience zones with dedicated cars for each zone. The first zone was dedicated to the slalom test.

Jaguar India had lined up the XF, F-Pace and two XEs for this zone, and it really was simple - drive as fast as possible, between the cones. The cones were positioned in a way that, the steering had to be worked hard even in sport mode to get the cars through them at speed.

The Jaguar XE and XF were poised and confident through the course, showing off their agility. The XE was the more nimble sibling, owing to its low kerb weight of 1,615kgs, but the pleasant surprise was Jaguar's first SUV - The F-Pace. Despite being top-heavy, the SUV handled the slalom section very well.

The Jaguar XE and XF were powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine with a maximum power output of 177bhp and a peak torque output of 430Nm. The second Jaguar XE was powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine with a maximum power output of 197bhp and a peak torque output of 320Nm.

The first zone therefore demonstrated Jaguar's prowess in terms of dynamics. The second experience zone was the lane change and brake zone and this clearly demonstrated Jaguar's prowess in terms of safety.

The lane change and brake experience replicated a real-world emergency scenario which involves swerving suddenly from one lane to another and then braking hard till it comes to a halt. This exercise saw us driving the Jaguar XE, XF, F-Pace and the flagship luxury limo XJ-L.

All three cars accelerated till around 100km/h and then swerved and braked without any major drama. The XJ-L though was the most impressive, mainly owing to its size and weight. Due to the same factors, it was only on the XJ-L that we could smell the rubber burning.

This however, did not slow the car down at all and it continued swerving and braking without complaining while still keeping its occupants in the lap of luxurious opulence. Then came the final experience zone of the day - The speed run!

Jaguar has to its credit, a few of the most beautiful cars ever built, and among these is the F-Type. Well, it is not everyday that one gets to experience driving the F-Type flat out, but we did experience it earlier and drove the F-Type S, alongside all the cars in Jaguar India's product portfolio.

This time however, we got to experience the top-spec, performance F-Type SVR. The F-Type SVR is a delight to even look at. It is one of the few cars that is well-capable of mesmerising a petrol-head.

The F-Type SVR sports aerodynamic improvements over the S and R variants, and as a result also has massively improved downforce. The spoiler and diffuser at the rear further helps in this regard. The cherry-on-top-of-the-cake is the titanium-inconel exhaust system with four exhaust outlets at the rear.

Under the hood of the F-Type SVR is a firebreathing, supercharged, 5.0-litre V8 engine. It pushes out a maximum power output of 567bhp at 6,500RPM and a peak torque output of 700Nm at 3,500RPM. An 8-speed automatic gearbox drives all four wheels.

With all this put together, the Jaguar F-Type SVR acclerates from 0-100km/h in about 3.7 seconds and will go on to touch a top speed of around 322km/h. This, is just what we got to test, when we pointed the Jaguar F-Type at the quarter marker on the runway.

Turned the gear knob to Sport mode, and we were ready with our foot on the brake, comfortable in the new magnesium-framed bucket seats. After a thumbs up to the camera recording us, and with windows rolled up, the instructor gave us the go-ahead.

The moment the throttle was pinned to the floor, the car lunged forward, with utmost urgency and we were past the 100km/h mark in under four seconds. As the speed built up, the undulations on the runway were felt quite a bit as we were driving in sport mode which firmed up the suspension.

In a few more seconds, the needle in the speedometer went past 200km/h and it seemed like a time-warp. The Jaguar F-Type SVR though, still continued to accelerate like there was no tomorrow until 230km/h when we went past two cones that indicated the braking space, and our instructor asked us to hit the brakes and slow down.

There was ample space to slow down and we didn't really have to brake hard to slow down. A short u-turn later, we did the run back up the runway at full-throttle, and it over over. The drive in the Jaguar F-Type SVR ended in less than a minute, and we were thrilled, left wanting for more. This also signalled the end of our Jaguar Art Of Performance Tour.

On the sidelines of the Jaguar experience event was sister company Land Rover and its Above and Beyond Tour. A pair of Land Rover Discovery Sport HSEs were driven by expert drivers through three challenging obstacles. The Discovery Sport though climbed over the obstacles without breaking into a sweat.

Thoughts On Jaguar Art Of Performance Tour In Bangalore

The Art of Performance Tour is one of the best ways to experience a Jaguar's capabilities. It allows the driver to push the car to its limits without compromising on safety. Jaguar India will be taking the Art of Performance Tour to different cities and even towns across India in order to reach out to more people.

The Art of Performance Tour FY 2018-19 has so far held events at Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh, Raipur, Nagpur, Indore, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi before coming back to Bangalore. It now has a few more cities to go before ending in March 2019.

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