Art of Performance Tour
Radio, print and even television over the past few years has taken a heavy blow in advertising thanks to the monolith that is the internet. Social media & the world wide web seems to be the ultimate pathway from advertiser to advertisee. As Consumers, we have almost every bit of information at our fingertips with a few gentle swipes. But is that the future? Will Facebook, Instagram & Google continue to be the driving forces that push you to go out and buy a product? Jaguar Land Rover seem to think differently.
Welcome everyone to the Art of Performance Tour. A full time roadshow that gives current and future customers a proper advertising campaign that is as simple as bum in seat experience in some of their most desirable cars. The whole point of the tour is to promote the brands pedigree & innovation but not in the way a car salesman lingers over your shoulder, or a priest knocks at your door. There are no salesman, no order books & no brochures here.
The Art of Performance Tour is a never ending circus that travels the country, popping up in a new state every week with a wide range of activities and amazing cars to drive. So when fellow GJ Writer Andrew Cummins invited me down for a day of luxuries and driving, I was more than happy to oblige.
Greeted at Ascot Raceway by a plethora of Jaguar & Land Rover flags flapping in the rather English-like weather, the driveway was lined with almost everything from the Jaguar Land Rover line up. Once registered and official Jaguar lanyards are awarded, it was time for a quick coffee and a spot of food before the fun starts.
The itinerary was simple. The 16 enthusiasts split into two groups, with one group herded off to drive whatever they desired around the streets of Perth accompanied by one of Jaguars driving instructors, meanwhile the other group gets to thrash the 2018 F-Type range around an autocross track using the Smart Cone System.
First up for us was the test drive. Walking out to see the range of cars available, I immediately bee lined for the 2018 Jaguar XF equipped with the velvet smooth yet aggressive Supercharged V6. I have been attracted to this car since the day it launched replacing the bug-eyed S-Type. I was far from disappointed to find it was trimmed exactly the way I’d sign the order book with black exterior, black interior, large alloy wheels and the Supercharged six under the hood. The Jag I call; the Bank Robber.
The drive gave us the chance to really see what sets Jaguar apart from the rest, an activity that isnt easy with the cookie cutter stampede from the Germans. However the character and soul of the Jag’s can be instantly found. With the XF competing with the likes of the E-Class & 5-Series, the XF still pertains that almost caddish personality the brand has developed over time. It isn't just a company uniform or corporate sedan, the XF is a luxurious saloon with a rifled drive and spitfire soundtrack.
Midway through our planned route, the brigade pulled over for a quick vehicle swap, Andrew & I were shoe horned into the Jaguar F-Pace sporting the same engine, and had yet a completely different experience. The F-Pace despite its size and body was somehow more exciting, the exhaust turned up to eleven as it barked its way down the back streets of East Perth yet still delivering excellent ride and handling.
Returning to the Ascot grounds, the group thanked the instructors, those interested got to learn more about the cars they drove, and then we were shovelled off to the next event, the Smart Cone.
The Smart Cone was simple, it's an autocross event with five gates marked by cones. What makes it more challenging, is the cones are linked by GPS and randomised. When you drive through one gate, the next is highlighted by flashing lights. It means there is no set path and your score is reflected on your ability to drive the shortest distance, hit the middle of the gate accurately and be as quick as possible.
The car you’d be driving is a selection between the turbocharged four cylinder or the supercharged V6 with every driver getting a go in each car. What follows is some very competitive driving and a lot of laughs.
Given the chance to drive both the V6 and the Four Cylinder, its amazing to see the difference in drive thanks to the loss of weight over the front. The V6 felt like a brute with its instant power and shrill whine from the supercharger, meanwhile the turbocharged four pot felt light, delicate and rifled while still offering a plethora of pops and bangs from its center exit poo shoots. But where both cars succeeded I failed by missing some gates or turning the wrong way. With this is in mind I decided to just give it some jandel and enjoy the drive.
Just when you think that's it for the day, Land Rover give you a tap on the shoulder and take you for a drive in their brand new Discovery 5. With the terrapod set to 30 degrees incline and descent, and a few ramps to show articulation, the Discovery 5 painted a very quick picture that the british marque hasn't lost its touch with this newest generation, but that's a story for another day.
Thanks to Jaguar Land Rover Australia for a special day.
Pat & Andy.