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Old 1st June 2017, 17:48   #1
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Default Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?

I heard about the "Jaguar : The Art of Performance" event in Gurgaon, being held on the 27th and 28th of May, 2017 by AMP Motors from friends in Delhi Team-BHP WhatsApp group (shameless plug for WhatsApp group, do join if you're in NCR). I had attended their Land Rover off-roading event last summer which was really awesome and I never turn down a chance to explore the performance of a car so I signed up for the earliest slot at 9:40am and was allowed to bring 2 non-driving companions with me.


Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?-whatsapp-image-20170601-5.10.13-pm.jpeg


- Event Management

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The event itself was setup in Leisure Valley parking ground, Sector 29 in Gurgaon. They setup cones in the parking lot to emulate a driving course. I got there promptly at 9:25am with my parents in tow since they had nothing better to do on a lazy Sunday morning. Since, the event was supposed to start at 9:40am, I thought getting there 15 minutes before would give me enough time for registration.

Once, I got there I saw that there was only one other person who had the wristband meant for drivers. I completed registration and seated myself on one of the chairs awaiting instruction on where to go next.

"Quick Relevant Story : While doing my studies abroad, I was made aware of the stereotype that Americans have for Indians, known as the Indian Standard Time which stands for 15 minutes after the actual time since Indians are always late. I hate this stereotype and try my very best to not be late to any place I go and at the same time hate it when people are late to a commitment they made to me. 15 minutes is a grace period but any later, and that's LATE."

We waited and waited and my mom tried all the 10 different kinds of finger foods that the waiters kept offering us. We started to wonder if we had come to a Jaguar-sponsored food tasting event and or if I was actually going to drive.

A fellow Team-BHPian had asked me to pick him up at 9am but he was 40 minutes out of my route and I apologized to him since I would be "late" if I went to pick him up and at this point I felt bad as to why I didn't go pick him up since he had to miss his morning time slot for not being able to come to the location. (He was able to attend in the evening, so it's all good)

Finally at around 10:30am, a lot more people showed up. (The next group started at 11:10am so I'm not even sure which time slot these people belonged to) and we were finally given the safety briefing and the event started.

Starting 50 minutes late does not bode well with a Jaguar customer since waiting 50 minutes in a tent (albeit with water-spray fans) in the Delhi summer is not what Luxury is about.

For some reason, they assigned 5 to 6 drivers to each course when there were only 4 cars for each course. This meant, some drivers had to stand outside the car under the sun or squeeze into the back of one of the cars with the non-driving companions while the other 4 drivers drove around the track. Not sure why they wouldn't just assign 4 drivers for 4 cars or have 5 cars for 5 drivers so that no driver is having to wait their turn.

- Slalom Course

The first course we started at was the slalom course which was meant to showcase the handling characteristics of the car to customers. The cars available for the slalom course were 2 XE, 1 XF, and a F-Pace.

I'm not sure how much I learned from turning the car left and right at 20 kmph in a small parking lot. The corners were sharp enough that the 3 and 9 hand position wasn't enough to move through them (The instructor agreed with me here). All that teaches me about the car is that the steering rack isn't quick enough for sporty driving. But disappointment with the event setup and management aside,

I actually did enjoy chucking around the Jaguar XE in it's top trim with the 2.0L Petrol motor (240 bhp). The power to weight ratio meant it actually accelerated quickly and was light enough to change directions around the corners on command.

The Jaguar XF with the same motor and power was not as fun after trying the XE. The weight of the car becomes evident when you try to turn it quickly. Although it was clearly more spacious and my 6'3" frame found more legroom for which I'm thankful.

The F-Pace in it's R-Sport trim was laden with gizmos like HUD and a wide touch-screen in the middle. The R-Sport trim meant a 3.0 V6 Diesel engine but there was zero space for an engine like that to stretch it's legs and show it's potential when we're just accelerating to 20kmph. Credit where it's due because the F-Pace moved around the course with the same agility as the XF which is credible considering it's much heavier along with the higher center of gravity.

Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?-img_4782.jpg


- Lane Change and Braking Maneuver

For the second activity, everyone was led to a different section of the course where we were supposed to change lanes and brake hard. The cars available for this activity were the XJ L, XF, XE and the F-Pace.

We started off in the XJ L and it faced a similar problem to the F-Pace in that it didn’t have enough space to really show its capabilities. Most luxury european cars are famed for their high speed stability but we did not really get to experience that. No average car being sold today will be unsettled after a sharp turn at 20 kph. The weight of the XJ L was felt when braking since it took a longer distance to stop the car after a quick acceleration and turn.

The XE and XF performed similarly to how they did in the slalom course.

The F-Pace once again came in with the surprisingly good performance. This is one SUV I wouldn’t mind taking to good twisty roads.

Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?-img_4783.jpg

- Acceleration and Braking

The final part of the event included a straight line dash and braking in the F-Type S 5.0L V8 Supercharged Convertible. I am still a little confused since I double checked with the person organizing the rides that the car was a V8 Supercharged (it sounded like one), but in India the V8 is only available with a “R” badge, while the “S” badged cars only have a V6. It might be an older discontinued version possibly.

Initial impressions were that the car was much too cramped for my height. In the process of adjusting the seat for my proportions, I also found that in a car that cost nearly 1.5 Cr, you have manually adjust the seat with a pulling lever, while cars within the same brand that cost a fifth of yours, have electronic adjustment. I understand that the brand is trying to differentiate the variants it sells of the same car, but at the price point at which the F-Type is sold, something like electric seat adjustment should really not be the differentiating factor.

The experience itself was great but short lived, we accelerated to around 80 kph before hitting the brakes and bringing the car back. The howl and crackle of the engine made the kid inside of me jump up and down, and it would no doubt be a fun car on a twisting mountain highway or inside of a tunnel.


Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?-img_4784.jpg


- Video


Video I put together by having the instructors hold my GoPro. No inside video of the F-Type because the instructor refused to hold the camera. Additional comments from my mom in the background.




- Final Reflection

Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?-img_4786.jpg


I was impressed by the cars that Jaguar has on offer but let down by the event management. The Jaguar name didn’t come to my mind when thinking of a “Sporty” car before but I think an XE would be equally fun around a track like the BIC in it’s 2.0 Petrol avatar when compared to a BMW 320i.

I understand that the event was free for all it’s participants but if charging a token amount can lead to a better experience (like the Land Rover event by the same dealership), I would much rather pay a token amount and have a better course setup than one in a small empty parking lot. I was quite jealous after reading that the same event in other locations had access to air strips and actual tracks.

The event might be better labelled as “Jaguar : The Art of Luxury” since the participants spent the most time experiencing the stability of the Luxury offerings of Jaguar and spent under a minute inside the car that really carries the performance aspect of the brand.

I won’t dismiss the Jaguar brand just yet though. The cars are really well engineered, have great potential and are worthy contenders to the offerings of the German trio.

Last edited by jalajprakash : 5th June 2017 at 14:25.
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Old 5th June 2017, 17:59   #2
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Default Re: Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!

Go easy on them, tiger . Your basic complaints are:

1. The event started late? Unfortunate, but that's India for you. Even some media driving events with a group of only 20 sometimes start an hour late. This is despite the company's top management being there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalajprakash View Post
For some reason, they assigned 5 to 6 drivers to each course when there were only 4 cars for each course. This meant, some drivers had to stand outside the car under the sun or squeeze into the back of one of the cars with the non-driving companions while the other 4 drivers drove around the track.
Waiting on the rear seat for your turn behind the wheel isn't so bad .

Quote:
I'm not sure how much I learned from turning the car left and right at 20 kmph in a small parking lot.
Quote:
but there was zero space for an engine like that to stretch it's legs and show it's potential when we're just accelerating to 20kmph
Hmmm, the speeds indeed appear to have been set too conservatively. Maybe because of the small lot, or maybe because it was a free-for-all and they wanted to play it safe.
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Old 5th June 2017, 21:11   #3
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Default Re: Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Go easy on them, tiger . Your basic complaints are:

1. The event started late? Unfortunate, but that's India for you. Even some media driving events with a group of only 20 sometimes start an hour late. This is despite the company's top management being there.

Waiting on the rear seat for your turn behind the wheel isn't so bad .

Hmmm, the speeds indeed appear to have been set too conservatively. Maybe because of the small lot, or maybe because it was a free-for-all and they wanted to play it safe.
As I mentioned before, being late is a pet peeve of mine. The one other person who was there on time might not have cared as much and the people who came in at 10:30am were obviously thankful that Jaguar waited for them to start the event.

It wasn't just waiting in the rear seat. Only 4 cars meant, that 4 people completed their stint in all the cars and moved onto the next set of activities while one person had to wait for the next set of people to drive one car and then join a different group for the next activity where there were already 6 people in a group. Splitting groups up like that just creates a lot of confusion for the participant and organizers. The throughput was fast enough for them to create groups of 4.

As for the last point, I was not really criticizing the speed but the location that they chose for the event which led to much slower speeds. From what I've heard from other BHPians, other cities had much larger venues with a lot more room to play.

At the end of the day, Jaguar probably doesn't give a crap if a single person had a mediocre experience and I hold no ill will against them but I'm hoping that they read the small points of feedback that I've provided to create an even better experience for future participants.
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Old 6th June 2017, 16:43   #4
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Default Re: Jaguar: The Art of Performance or The Art of Per-Fail?

I went to the event as well and have just the same complaint as you. The space wasn't adequate to show full capability of the cars. This is supposed to be an "EXPERIENCE" for all future Jaguar customers and that is the one thing we didn't get from this event.

Here are the problems with the respective courses:
  1. Slalom - The cones were placed too close to each other that we couldn't accelerate enough and then turn in to get the proper feel of the agility of the cars. I was interested in the XE as it's supposed to be one of the best handling cars in it's segment. (As per media drives and other reviews)
  2. Acceleration - Glad they used the f-type v8 as that's the one which sounds the best of them all. You get in, the instructor greets you, adjust your seats and you're set to go flat out. It was a stretch of just 100 odd meters and not enough to have proper acceleration and braking feel of the f-type. This was just to attract people with the growling V8, performance is nowhere close to anything in it's class.
  3. Lane change maneuver - You accelerate up to 50 kmph and then do A lane change and brake which gives you an idea about real life emergency scenario and also how the ABS works. All cars did well and they would as you could only hit 40-50kmph.
I've done all other BMW, Mercedes and Audi experience drives and all of these were done at BIC which is how Jaguar should have done as well. You are doing an event in NCR and you have BIC at your disposal, why do it in a parking lot and ruin it.
If someone asks me if I'd like to buy a Jaguar, My answer would be NO!!
Exactly what I told the person who called me up asking if I'm interested in buying one after experiencing all the cars last weekend.

After experiencing all these courses by the German trio, it helped me make a decision when I was in the market to buy a small sports car two years ago. That's why I picked up the CLA45 and it provides superb feedback, has good weight and super agile chassis. I drive it daily and love it more every time I try any other cars in or outside it's segment. Was a perfect choice for the money

VSD

Last edited by ajmat : 7th June 2017 at 09:05. Reason: typo
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