A local version of the US-based Jaguar Performance Driving Academy will be offered to Australians for the first time later this year giving enthusiasts the opportunity to drive high-performance Jaguars around the racetrack.
Jaguar Australia brand manager Kevin Goult told CarAdvice the British marque would finally join the likes of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche in offering its own performance driving courses. Goult said Jaguar is “working on it now” with track time already booked ahead of a third quarter launch date.
An Australian Jaguar Performance Driving Academy would include the same range of performance Jags as the current American program, meaning the XFR, XKR, XJ Supersport, and XKR-S would all be in the line-up. It would also provide a perfect platform to display the upcoming Jaguar F-type – Jaguar’s new hero car.
While Jaguar’s American-based Performance Driving Academy has just expanded its program to allow members of the public – and not just Jaguar owners – to take part in its courses, Goult says the Aussie Academy would start with customer-only invitations but is definitely looking to branch out past that.
The two-tiered US program, which CarAdvice’s Anthony Crawford participated in last year, requires attendees to complete the Performance Driving Academy Basic course, or equivalent accredited course, before being able to build on those skills in the Advanced course.
The Basic course is a one-day event that follows a welcome reception the night before (light on the alcohol we imagine). Vehicle launch and maximum acceleration exercises are covered as well as braking and ABS drills, emergency lane-changes, handling exercises in Dynamic Mode and with traction control off, cornering drills, autocross and slalom courses, and full track laps at speed with guidance from a driving coach. Passenger hot laps with racing drivers complete the activities.
The Advanced course steps things up, building on skills taught in the Basic course with threshold braking, high-speed cornering, skidpad and oval work, and a low-speed handling course all added in. This is followed by individual one-on-one instructor coaching employing data feedback to improve on-track performance.
Courses in the US cost US$1850 for the Basic and US$2495 for the Advanced, with the Academy holding courses in different locations throughout the year, an idea that Jaguar Australia is also considering.
The decision from the Jaguar Performance Driving Academy to include members of the public follows Audi Australia’s recent announcement to do the same for its Audi Drive Experience program.