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The Jaguar is the only species of big cat that is present in the New World, the name the British and other colonial powers gave to the Americas after Columbus accidentally found himself there in the late 15th century.
However, unlike other big cats, the Jaguar delivers the killing blow by crushing the skull of its prey instead of choking the life out of them. So would the British cars bearing the big cat's name try to do the same when we pushed them to the limit? We answered that question when Jaguar's Art Of Performance Tour rolled into Bangalore last week.
So just what is the Jaguar Art of Performance Tour?
The Jaguar Art of Performance Tour is the British carmaker's attempt to reimagine the test drive, allowing customers to get behind the wheel of its cars to experience them at full chat.
The Art of Performance Tour returned to Bangalore for the second time this year and as we turned into the small road leading to the airstrip, we were greeted by a duet of supercharged V8 roars as two F-Types scorched the tarmac.
A brisk briefing later (which banned the use of mobile phones), we were lead onto the baking hot tarmac to experience the entirety of the Jaguar lineup in India through three different events that tested the acceleration, braking and handling of the British jungle cats.
Time To Drive The Jags!
First up, was the slalom section which included a regular slalom along with an offset section. The slalom section saw the new Jaguar XE and the XF sedans along with Jaguar's first-ever SUV, the F-Pace sweeping from one turn to another.
Both the XE & XF were powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 237bhp and 340Nm of torque while the F-Pace used the 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine good for 296bhp and 700Nm of torque. While, the XE and the heavier XF showed off their rear-wheel drive agility changing direction with ease, it was the diesel F-Pace that surprised us with how easily it swept from one corner to the other despite a kerb weight of nearly 1.9 tonnes.
The next section saw the cars, accelerate hard before changing lanes and hitting the anchors in an instant or what the instructors described as ‘a daily driving situation on crazy Indian roads.'
Replacing the XF for this stint behind the wheel was Jaguar's XJL luxury sedan (5,255mm in length), which was present in its most luxurious diesel form and used Jag's potent 3.0-litre diesel we experienced in F-Pace. The F-Pace on the other hand, used the 2.0-litre turbo petrol for this section.
The XJL despite its length and weight (nearly 2 tonnes) was surprisingly agile and came to a halt as soon as the brake pedal was depressed.
A ride in the back seat of the car, just proved why this agile limo is the one to get if you like to ride in luxury without missing out on the aspects of what makes a car fun.
The petrol F-Pace felt even more agile than its diesel sibling and performed remarkably well while the lightweight XE really stole the show, accelerating hard, changing lanes with just a slight flick of the wheel and coming to a halt without breaking a sweat.
The final exercise of the Jaguar Art Of Performance Tour Bangalore saw us behind the wheel of Jaguar's halo sports car, the F-Type.
In convertible V8 S trim, the F-Type's 5.0-litre supercharged V8, kicks out 488bhp and 625Nm of torque which is sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox which can be manually overridden by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
However, the party piece of the F-Type was the noise emanating from the exhaust as the revs built up and the wild cat of a sports car launched itself down the runway with the gearbox in sports mode.
The speedo needle raced past 100kph in a matter of seconds (4 to be precise) pinning me back into the driver's seat. As the speed and my bravery continued to build up, the exhaust note added its own soundtrack to the fast-paced atmosphere inside the car, with bangs and crackles accompanying a roar from the V8 that would make any big cat proud.
Finally, with needle past 240 and nearing 250kph, the instructor in the passenger seat finally indicated that the brake pedal needed some work. The F-Type slowed down under gentle braking with the exhaust still popping and banging about before coming to a rest as we prepared for the run back up the runway.
Unlike the run down to the edge of the runway, the return speedrun was done with the roof down, which allowed me to hear the V8 roar at its loudest as the wind blew through the F-Type's cabin. With the wind buffeting about, the run ended at a more sedate 180kph but the roar of the engine in the eardrums stayed on for quite a while after that.
Dennis James Thinks!
Jaguar showed off all three pillars of its philosophy for cars - luxury (XE, XF & XJL), lifestyle (F-Pace) and Sports (F-Type) - at the Art of Performance Tour event in Bangalore while demonstrating the performance capabilities of all five of their cars on sale in India.
The XE blew me away with its lightness and nimble nature and while the XF was no slouch either, the XJL was a ‘big' surprise, twisting and turning in a way no limo should. The F-Pace despite its SUV design showed off its rather brilliant road manners, accelerating braking and changing direction with ease.
The Jaguar F-Type on the other hand, combines its handsome looks with a soundtrack that wouldn't seem out of place in a heavy metal concert. The F-Type backs the V8 rumble with a turn of speed that keeps your adrenaline running for hours after you get out of it ensuring those moments behind the wheel remain unforgettable.