So on the 7th of April 2017, Jaguar invited me to experience The Art of Performance Tour India 2017 down at Amby Valley.
The Art of Performance Tour is basically a series of dynamic drive experience that Jaguar conducts across India (and the world) where it provides an incredible opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like behind the wheel of a Jaguar accompanied by a Jaguar expert. This particular event entailed a series of specially designed track exercises on the open tarmac of Amby Valley’s airstrip.
The invitees, which also include prospective buyers keen on owning the iconic brand, are treated to Jaguar’s unique offering such as the XE, XF, XJ, F-TYPE and the recently launched Jaguar F-PACE.
The day was kicked-off with a pleasant morning drive down to the airstrip and a briefing on their India portfolio by Jaguar Land Rover India Brand Director, Ankur Kansal.
One of his statement on the Jaguar design philosophy stood out for me, “Every Jaguar is styled and designed to look as if it’s ready to leap forward – even when stationary.” This is so true!
About the interiors, he went on to add, “Jaguar doesn’t know what faux leather or pu leather is, the interiors are all high quality real leather” enough said.
The Jag’s styling has consistently gotten more aggressive year after year. Proof of the pudding: The new Jaguar F-Pace was recently adjudged as the winner of 2017 World Car Design of the Year and 2017 Car of the Year at the 2017 New York International Motor Show.
Co-incidentally, that’s the car I first got into for my very first drive experience – Lane change and braking.
Post that I did the same test in the XJ, the XF & the XE followed by Slalom (racing on a zigzag course).
Each vehicle offers a different combination of exhilarating performance in an ambience of seductive luxury that truly excites the senses.
Getting back to the F-Pace, as soon as the Jaguar expert floored the pedal, the impressive qualities of the F-Pace immediately become apparent. Its incredible how nimble and fleet footed the car is.
This fleet footedness was also apparent in the car I rode immediately after, the quintessential city limousine: The Jaguar XJ, a car most associate with backseat nirvana but, as I found out, it’s no slouch when you’re at the driver’s seat and as you can see, this 1.8 ton car can and will turn and stop on a dime.
Next-up was the Jaguar mid-range offering, the very sharp Jaguar XF. I won’t go into the details of this beauty as its the most plentiful Jaguar on Indian roads. An upward trend which shows no sign of stopping and why would it? This is a lot of car for the price!
Then it was the turn of a car which has immense potential for a market like India. A luxury car for the young and aspirational Indian on a limited budget, yearning for the iconic badge who can finally invest into the brand. The face of this entry-level luxury automobile is called the Jaguar XE.
FYI, the Jaguar XE body uses over 75 percent aluminium content, which far exceeds any other car in its class. This creates a light but also immensely strong body structure with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness. Jaguar has made sure the aluminium-intensive body structure exceeds all global safety standards without compromising on vehicle design or refinement.
Most of the people invited for the event agreed that the XE had the best handling of the lot.
About the looks? Here’s the baby Jag against the flagship – tell us which one YOU like better.
This was no high-society photo-op event where you’re merely paraded across the fleet, hopping from one car to the other to just experience their creature-comforts and lay in style. The Jaguar experts really threw the cars around at good speeds, pushing the envelope of their machine’s performance and handling characteristics and to be honest it was a walk in the park, or should I say a stroll in the jungle for the Jaguars.
Last but not the least, was the speed-run down runway 32 in the incredible Jaguar F-Type!
All I have to say about that is, line-up at the start line > Launch Control: ON > Traction Control: OFF > Drive: Sport + mode and let the noise and the speed rush overpower your senses – no words can describe this and so i’m not even going to try. Sit back, relax and enjoy the photos 🙂
On the way back to the Jaguar guest chalet, this magnificent British racing green F-Type was a sight to behold.
Words & Photos by Vishal Jolapara