Watch: Vuyi Mpofu throws a few ‘cats’ around the track then makes them hiss on the skidpad
Our Editor, Vuyi Mpofu recently attended a driver training session at the Jaguar LandRover Driving Experience in Lonehill. During the course of the afternoon, she drove 5 different Jags in 3 different scenarios designed to simulate real-life motoring experiences faced by drivers on a daily basis.
As most motorists are aware, there is little to zero respect for road rules on our roads. In addition, the attitudes of most drivers on our roads is nothing short of appalling, and; when coupled with the fact that vehicle maintenance and having insurance are not particularly high on many car owners’ list of priorities, driving in South Africa can be described as an extreme sport.
For these reasons, and many others, I was excited to receive an invitation to attend a half day training session at the new-look Jaguar Land Rover Experience Centre in Lonehill. Granted, I have participated in countless driver training sessions over the years, including those hosted by the iconic British automaker, but as a seasoned petrol-head I would never pass up on an opportunity to spend time driving spirited ‘cats’.
The Jaguar Driver Training session started off with the usual completion of mandatory registration and indemnity forms and of course, observing COVID_19 protocols. This was followed by a scrumptious light lunch at the TLC on the track restaurant which is not only tastefully decorated but also overlooks the skidpan area and other driver testing areas within the Centre.
Next, we spent time in the conference room interacting with lead instructor – Devon Scott, Jaguar Lead Instructor (and Land Rover Senior Instructor) during which the group discussed various elements of road safety and defensive driving.
With the theory out of the way, it was time to head to the track to do what I had been eagerly awaiting – DRIVE! Our vehicles comprised of the following:
- Jaguar F-Type
- Jaguar F-Pace
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Jaguar XE
- Jaguar XF
The driver training session focused on driver training elements which the majority of motorists put into use on a daily basis (with varying degrees of success), being:
- Emergency lane change
- Controlling a vehicle in a skid
- Steering slaloms
I had the pleasure of driving each of the vehicles a minimum of twice around the track per exercise, experiencing each vehicle’s handling capabilities, performance and responsiveness. The F-Type is in a league of its own, and with the top down it proved to by my most enjoyable ride. For everyday driving I would elect the F-Pace for elements such as its command seating position, interior space and impressive sprinting ability. But as per my vote at the South African Car of the Year competition earlier this year, my final thumbs up still lies with the of extraordinary technological marvel which is the I-Pace.
It is an extremely good idea to equip yourself with driving training skills, even if you don’t drive a luxury vehicle. But if you are feeling aspirational, the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Experience offers a variety of courses at affordable rates. Who knows, you might find yourself purchasing one too!