With Jaguar’s Art of Performance Tour winding down for the year, it was now-or-never for AutoGuide.com to check out the driving experience program firsthand.
Designed to give current and prospective buyers a chance to do things in a car they wouldn’t otherwise be able to on a traditional test drive, events like the Art of Performance Tour are growing in popularity — particularly in the premium segment. I dropped in on a local tour stop to check out what all the hubbub was about. Here are my takeaways.
1. Smart Cones Should be the Next Autocross
The Smart Cones course was the absolute highlight of my day, and I would love to see it turned into something that Jaguar expands globally — and perhaps even licenses for private use. Proprietary to Jaguar, Smart Cones use wireless technology to illuminate pairs of cones in random sequences to create a unique course for drivers to complete — it takes the autocross to the next level. Geared more towards accuracy and reaction times than speed, scores are based on lap time, distance traveled and precision, with the latter two accounting for a combined 80 percent.
The event challenges drivers to “look further outside the vehicle,” as one instructor put it, scanning the course two gates ahead to calculate the shortest route possible while working the brakes more so than the accelerator.
ALSO SEE: Top 10 Ways to Be a Better Track Driver
2. It’s Possible to Autocross a Jaguar F-Pace
The F-Pace drives a bit like a pickup truck, but it is still possible to push it through an autocross course and live to tell the tale. It’s not quite as gifted as a Range Rover Sport SVR, but it’s not for lack of trying on the F-Pace’s part, with the sport utility playing along and fighting off body roll before diving headlong into the next corner.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S Review
3. The Jaguar F-Type Makes the Best Sound
OK, I already knew that. But I was provided with a friendly reminder after I climbed into the F-Type R coupe and listened to the big cat growl as I swung the rear end around through the pylons. It’s hands down one of the most spine-tingling exhaust notes on the market today. Even the V6-powered F-Type S sounds phenomenal, while the F-Type SVR makes it downright outrageous.
4. Jaguar’s Lineup is Made From Recycled Planes
With the introduction of the F-Pace and XE this year, Jaguar has gone to an all-aluminum lineup in the name of strength and weight savings. But it’s not just new material being used to build the latest in British luxury, with the structures made of aluminum recycled from old aircraft.
ALSO SEE: 2017 Jaguar XE Review
5. A Range Rover Can Ascend and Descend 43° Slopes
It’s no secret that Land Rovers are capable, but just how capable may surprise you. Using a hydraulic ramp, the brand’s crown jewel, the Range Rover, ascended and descended a 43° slope with ease.
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