2017 Jaguar Art of Performance tour
It is not everyday that you are told to test the extreme limits of a supercar and that too on an airstrip. The occasion was Jaguar's Art of Performance Tour that gives enthusiasts as well as prospective owners an opportunity to test drive the entire fleet and experience its true potential. This particular event kicked off the 2017-18 edition and there are 31 more events scheduled to take place at different parts of the country. This edition of the tour was held on the Amby Valley airstrip wherein Jaguar had brought its complete range of XE, XF, XJ, F-Pace and the F-Type performance coupe.
After a quick briefing, we were directed towards the first challenge, the slalom test. And helping me dodge the cones was the 240PS/340Nm Jaguar XE. The purpose of slalom test is to highlight the agility, acceleration as well as breaking potential of the sedans. The XE felt easy to be chucked around the obstacles and didn't take much effort to come to a complete halt. However, it was the way the XJ behaved around the cones that really impressed me considering it's longer dimensions. The army of electronics working in tandem to keep the cars in control is simply amazing. And lastly, it was the F-Pace. Honestly, my expectations weren't much but was mighty surprised with the quick agility that the F-Pace displayed.
Second test was something that we encounter often on Indian roads and that is sudden braking. This time around I chose the F-Pace first as I wanted to see how the SUV reacts to a sudden change in the direction and if there is any drama around it. Surprisingly, the F-Pace managed to be in much control while taking sudden turns. Though it did have some body roll, it offered enough confidence to be pushed further. Next up was the the XJ. While it took some time to reach higher speeds, this Jaguar limousine had an amazing grip. The traction control system helped this limousine maintain its lines on the track.
And then it was time for the last activity which was something I was looking forward to. When we were done doing the first two activities, Jaguar instructors pointed towards the F-Type sports cars hinting of something fast. This activity didn't have cones and obstacles and instead it just had one long stretch of airstrip to cover. While we did have an idea of what is going to follow next, it was exciting as the instructors told us to just keep driving straight and try and cross the 200kmph mark. Once inside the F-Type, I shifted the chequered toggle switch to the Sports mode.This makes the throttle response, shift timings and the steering feedback more aggressive than that in the regular mode.Step on the accelerator and the note that this fast Jag makes is oh-so-amazing. With my hands firmly holding the steering wheel, I just went full throttle. The motor started to scream at its peak and everything around went blur. I could only see the tacho needle dancing at different rpms while the speedo needle kept crossing different speeds. It is only when the F-type crossed 170kmph, that things got a bit serious. Until finally it crossed the 205kmph mark and the instructor asked me to decelerate and apply brakes. It was indeed an experience for sure.
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