Jaguar Art of Performance review New Zealand
Performing Arts are essentially an emotional expression. They are a way for artists to convey feelings and emotive articulation through the likes of music, dance and theatre and generally in front of a live audience. The Jaguar Art of Performance Tour is all of the above but in ably presented in vehicular form.
In a very unique way, Jaguar is on tour around New Zealand showcasing some of their new models and what to expect when the unexpected happens. Although the venue may change, the format remains the same, here is what to expect.
First and foremost, first class Jaguar hospitality and safety. This is a very involved, high speed and even complex format, that has been devised to both entertain and educate you what the Jaguar range of vehicles are capable of. Your hosts take pride in offering an upmarket set up that includes great food and refreshments, a static display of the most amazing multi-million dollar XKSS, and the team (or is that the well-oiled machine) from Downforce are there to ably guide you through the event’s exercises.
Once registered, you are split into teams. There are four tasks to complete and in reality, it doesn’t matter which order you complete them in, but here’s my preference.
Riding the Terrapod. Ok so it’s not Jaguar, but it is under the same umbrella so seems a shame not to use it. The Land Rover Discovery is a most impressive off-road machine with capabilities that most of us will never use. At the Jaguar Art of Performance Tour, you get to ride along with a professional driver as the Discovery teeters on two wheels over ramps, escapes from tight corners and climbs over the Terrapod (a mechanical mountain) at 35 and then 45 degrees. This is not for the faint-hearted but trust the driver and more importantly, the Land Rover Discovery and you’re in for quite the off-road experience.
Next are the slalom and emergency braking experiences. For this section, you drive at high speed beside a very brave instructor. In what some would say is a momentary lapse of madness, Jaguar hand you the keys to two of their latest and greatest machines. The World Car of the Year Jaguar F-Pace SUV and the mouth-watering F-Type R (5L V8 Supercharged with 423kW, 680Nm and a 0-100 time of 4.1s), now I know I have your attention. The exercise is simple enough, a foot flat to the floor sprint, ending with a heavy ‘foot through the floor’ stamp on the brakes as you guide the SUV and then the sports car around a cone wall. It’s been designed as if you need to avoid a high-speed rear-end collision and to demonstrates the ability to control a Jaguar even under heavy braking – it achieves all of this plus the sound of that V8 at full noise is spine-chillingly awesome. Needless to say, some of the cones don’t make it out of there unscathed.
Last but by no means least is the through the gate competition. A chance to test your driving prowess against your peers both on the day and from the rest of the country. Driving a Jaguar XE, you must navigate around a course of gates, however, they are ‘opened’ at random. Blue then green lights pave the way for a task that tests your speed, accuracy, and distance traveled. Here’s a top tip, accuracy is the key, try and get the nose of the Jaguar dead centre of the gates – you’re welcome.
In a ‘mountain to Mohammed’ sort of way, Jaguar is taking to hand-picked venues near their national dealership network and bringing their owners and potential new customers together as one. The Jaguar Art of Performance Tour tests out the driving skills of both you and the vehicles in a guided and supervised environment. There’s lots of tyre squealing and adrenaline pumping, there’s engine singing while the tail end of cars are enthusiastically dancing, and all in front of a live audience – It really is quite the performing art experience.
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Cheers for the headline pic Chris Dillon