Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Let's talk Jaguars. Not the team, not the cats. The cars, people. The. Cars.

What do you get when you combine one amusement park, multiple drivers including one very excited car-loving blonde and a bunch of sleek new Jaguars?

 Answer?  A whole lot of fun. Also called The Jaguar ALIVE Driving Experience.
  It wasn't easy to find my way into the closed park. Thank goodness a Jaguar passed by me slow enough to follow. We made a nice little parade. My XKR following his XF.
 The check-in at the hospitality suite was quick and painless, and soon we were ushered into the outside tent (drizzly weather had just stopped) for an introduction to the vehicles, prices, models, features, all the stuff a brochure would tell you more succinctly than I.  Check it out here.

 Next up was a quick talk about Jaguar Technology, like Dynamic Stability Control, AWD and three separate driving modes, plus the one no one wanted to hear about.... the Automatic Speed Limiter. But talk wasn't enough. You have to drive it to feel it. There were car choices of the XF and XJ, both with AWD.
I teamed up with my new Jag loving pal, Tyrone and we got to run through some hazards in different modes, testing the accident avoidance features. There was a slippery hill, a skidding turn, a bumpy road and some twists and turns. All fun, and in the extra long XJLR, it was a luxurious way to enjoy backseat driving, unless I'm driving, then hold onto your cucumber water!

 Tyrone said that last year at the same event there was more driving, both on the track and around town,  and more cars. Later we learned that due to some sort of internal costs things had been cut back. I wondered if anyone ever tried or succeeded in stealing a car from the event— then I wrote a story in my head where someone did.

We made our way to the next tent for JAGUAR DYNAMICS, where we were able to drive two cars, XKR and XFR all 2014 models. I drove the XKR coupe.  It was pretty cool to hear, "OK. Now floor it! Pedal to the ground!" instead blue lights and sirens. That was one smooth trip from 0 to 60, and a few heart pounding turns back to the tent.

Where I went along for a two-fer ride in the XFR with Tyrone at the wheel first.

This is my face after he told me he gets his "ya-yas" out by driving race cars every weekend. It was probably also his face when I drove one-handed and got yelled at by the instructor.

This is the dash and the backseat. I love the two tone interior and clean dashboard.

By the way, no one had to tell Tyrone to put the pedal to the floor.

 Next up was the one we were both waiting for: PERFORMANCE and a bevy of F type convertibles to choose from. ( it's what's under the hood that will really make the difference.)
*From Jaguar site:


There are four models in the F-TYPE range. While each offers its own distinctive characteristics, all are equally at home on mountain switchbacks, on the highway or in the city.
The F-TYPE is designed to deliver pure driving pleasure.
The F-TYPE S adds greater power and sophisticated suspension technologies for increased balance and performance.
The F-TYPE V8 S Convertible provides exotic-car performance and greater levels of dynamic capability and control.
The F-TYPE R Coupe delivers supercar levels of performance combined with advanced dynamic technologies for the ultimate driver focused experience.

Most impressive non-performance feature? The z-fold bootless roof. I drive a convertible, but mine has a boot and the roof takes a little more than 12 seconds to go up or down. Not in this baby. Course, mine is also a bit larger... Here. Hold my purse. Leave the golf clubs at home.

 WHEW. That was awesome. Then it was back inside for goodie bags and snacks.
Of course, they had to pull me away from this beauty.

Yes, You're seeing the JAGUAR XKRS GT.
 Here she is up close.

Don't get your hopes up. There will only be 25 of them released in the USA. You will probably never see one in person, and definitely not be allowed to lean all over the spoiler.

Thank you JAGUAR ALIVE. I had a wonderful day on the track, enjoyed meeting new people, and learning what's new for this brand that in my opinion NEVER went out of style.

 Hey, this has been on my Christmas list since I was two.

 Are you listening Santa?
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