Jaguar has a portfolio of cars, from performance-driven sedans to SUVs and top-of-the-line sports car. At "The Art Of The Performance Tour" hosted by Jaguar India in Bengaluru on Saturday, January 5, 2019, the entire lineup of Jaguar X and F-series cars were available for a drive experience, which gave a first-hand experience of why Jaguar is one of the most recommended performance auto brands in the world.
After driving the XF, XE, XJ sedans as well as the F-Pace SUV in different tracks to test their agility and performance under different scenarios, I had the opportunity to test drive the flagship F-Pace - Jaguar's best-performing sports car, which costs a whopping around Rs 3 crore for the top-end 5.0 variant.
Jaguar F-Type's track was different from the rest, where the main purpose of it was to achieve top speeds in record time. Did it hit top speed? Not even close, but the experience was thrilling right from the starting point to the end and back to the pitstop.
Before getting to the speeding (or should I say overspending) bit, let me point out some details I noticed about the F-Type. There are multiple variants in Jaguar F-Type - but the ones available at the track were F-Type R with a V8 engine (the one I drove) and the F-Type SVR (which is tad expensive and packs more power than the 5.0 V8 convertible variant.
The convertible top opens when the car is stationary or at 35kmph speeds, but I did not have the chance to experience the drive with an open top (for good reasons). The exterior of the F-Type complement the interiors with continuity of visually-appealing aesthetics.
Everything from leather upholstery to carbon fiber touches to a compact and comfortable two-seat cabin, infotainment system and the rest speaks posh fluently. Jaguar hasn't compromised a bit in the F-Type — be it one the way it looks or the way it performs. The muscular yet elegant look, sleek headlights and taillamp, low sweeping roof, and magnificent alloys give the F-Type its aggressive form-factor that matches that jet sound.
Speaking of performance, the certified racing instructor in the passenger seat advised giving maximum throttle. I did hesitate a bit, but as the F-Type took off, the confidence was restored faster than the car hit 100kmph and the rpm was racing like a broken hand of a clock. The best part about the F-Type drive experience was the loud thunderous sound that pushes every ounce of that adrenaline rush and the finish point inching closer by the second. Every second mattered while racing the F-Type R 5.0-liter automatic shift petrol sports car.
In a matter of 5 seconds, the rpm meter showed 100kmph and within the next few seconds, I could only hear the instructor announce "150, 180, 200 and 220" (all were kmph) before the track ended and I had to stop accelerating and start applying the brakes. I was gentle with the breaks, but I could feel the car slowing down almost instantly, which came to me as a surprise at such high speeds.
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What a start to 2019. Driving Jaguar F-Type at the Art of the Performance Tour and clocking 220kmph on an air strip and reaching 100kmph in 5 seconds gives an adrenaline rush like nothing I've experienced before. Also had the chance to drive other Jaguar cars and each one has a class of its own. #JaguarPerformance #taopt #jaguar
The best thing about hitting 220kmph on Jaguar F-Type R was that it felt like nothing more than 120kmph. The air-tight AC-cooled cabin with the echoing sound of the exhaust added to the experience, which was truly remarkable. Even hitting upwards of 220kmph, I felt the car was still in very much control as it was at 100kmph. Also, I felt Jaguar F-Type had much more power within, which could have unleashed on a slightly longer stretch. I won't be surprised if the car actually hit 275kmph and still be in complete control.
After throttling to such high speeds and then applying the breaks did not create friction or skid marks as the ABS kicked in pretty hard to make the braking as smooth as possible. For a sports car, it's a must to have effective braking and Jaguar hasn't compromised a bit on that front.
Jaguar F-Type R is one of the finest looking sports cars in the market and a beautiful work of art - in and out. After driving it, it is easy to conclude that the F-Type R is the best performing race car for those quarter-mile maniac tracks, one that even gives a tough competition to Mercedes AMG GT and Porsche 911 Turbo S.