THE GANG'S ALL HERE: Africa's longest commercial airport runway and the speed traps are thee to check of fast you go not how much you'll owe! Image: Jaguar
• Jaguar engines showcased
• Demonstrated in top-speed runs
• Speed - but with fuel economy
UPINGTON, Northern Cape - Jaguar has written a number of land speed class records* with each model in its current line-up: XF, XJ, and F-Type S convertible.
When Jaguar Land Rover set out to officially record the top speed for the F-Type R Coupé at the end of February 2015 it also used the opportunity to earn class records with the XF 2.2D, XJ 3.0D, and F-Type S Convertible.
Driven by race drivers Dawie Olivier, Brian Hastie and JP Joubert the growl of Jaguars dominated the 4 900m runway at Upington airport, led by the F-Type R Coupé.
The XF 2.2D, with a 2.2 turbodiesel engine capable of 140kW/450Nm crossed the flying-kilometre line at 211.01km/h to write a record for production cars with turbo or supercharged diesel engines of two to 2.5-litres capacity.
Lisa Mallett, product manager at JLR, said: “The 2.2 diesel in the XF has impressive torque, making it ideal for effortless highway cruising and in-gear acceleration, while returning excellent fuel economy. However, this time around, the focus was less on its frugality and more about how it got up to speed while remaining safe and composed."
VIDEO: Watch the Jaguars rip the runway
The ultra-refined and luxurious Jaguar XJ also made an appearance. Its 202kW/600Nm three-litre V6 diesel took it to its max at 235.54km/h – a class record for production vehicles with turbo or supercharged diesel engines of 2.5 to three litres.
Then there was the Jaguar F-Type S convertible. Its supercharged three-litre, 280kW/460Nm V6 took it to a class record of 262.26km/h (production vehicles with turbo or supercharged petrol engines between 2.5 and three litres).
To prove that the vehicle is just as capable and safe with the top down a second unofficial run recorded 254.88km/h.
The JLR technical team was also proud of its own internal project: a 2003 Jaguar XJR that’s been stripped out, race prepped and aptly named “The Beast”. To top off a weekend of successful running at Upington The Beast set its own class record at 237.13km/h for modified vehicles with supercharged engines of three to five litres.
Mallett said: “We're proud to have put the F-Type R’s stablemates on the board, to have written records in their respective classes, to have flown the Jaguar flag. After all, racing is in Jaguar’s blood and we cannot think of a better way to prove that statement.”
About the drivers:
Dawie Olivier (F-TYPE R, XF 2.2D)
Dawie has 23 years'racing experience of track and off-road racing. He has raced a number of production cars as well as extreme performance, track-focused, machines. He has also run an advanced driving school.
JP Joubert (F-TYPE S)
JP has nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport, including campaigning at National level in the Formula 100 kart championship. He has performed precision driving for movies and TV advertisements and has also worked as an advanced-drivinginstructor.
Brian Hastie (XJ 3.0D, XJR / The Beast)
Brian’s family has a rich motorsport history. He grew up in a family of petrol heads with two brothers compete against. The list of cars he has raced since the 1980's includes a Formula 100 open-wheeler, a racing kart, and a classic Mini that he drove to overall victory in the 2009 Piper Touring Car race.
*Provisional record, subject to official classification by Motorsport South Africa. Find out more about the Jaguar range in South Africa.