Jaguar – No Runts In This Litter


5 May 2014: Jaguar is embracing the opportunity to showcase its performance heritage, and will arrive in the sleepy seaside town of Knysna for the Jaguar Simola Hilllclimb in the middle of May with a gridful of seriously quick cars.


Arguably the main attraction will be the debut of the F-TYPE coupe – due to go on sale in July – which will make its local debut at the Knysna event. This will be the public’s first chance to see this lightweight two-seater up close, and listen to it growl…

Jaguar F-Type

But spectators will also have the opportunity of a sensory massage from the likes of the XFR-S – Jaguar’s fastest-ever four-door – running against the clock and piloted by South Africa’s hairiest racing driver, Deon Joubert. Joining it is the XJR, another extremely fast four-door and sure to give a new twist to the Grace, Space and Pace credo for which the XJ nameplate is famous, as it tackles the hill leading up to the Simola Golf Estate. Jaguar Land Rover South Africa’s Aftersales Director, Rory Beattie, will be at the wheel.

Joining the five-seaters are both V8S and V6S versions of the F-TYPE and it’ll be interesting to see what the deciding factor on the climb is: 364kW of brute power or the agility and lower weight of the 290kW supercharged six. Either way, the men at the wheel (JLR SA’s National Aftersales Manager Dawie Olivier and veteran motoring communicator Deon Schoeman respectively) will have the option of driving with the wind in their hair and listening to the crackle and bellow of the exhaust or closing the roof for a more refined experience…

Finally, five identical Jaguar XFs are being prepared for a Media Challenge in which South Africa’s most skilled motoring journalists will be pitted against each other and the hill, with honour and ego at stake (not to mention a magnificent floating trophy and a voucher prize from motorsport gear specialists, ATS)…

Two significant Jaguars will also be on display at the event. One is an XJR, this one recently having celebrated its sixth birthday. Owned by Jaguar Land Rover South Africa since birth, it started life as an X350 (the predecessor to the current XJ series) homologation unit, and was later used for technical training. Fettled in-house in recent months for its future role as a ‘club racer’ by JLR SA’s technical team, it’ll make its first appearance – resplendent in Castrol colours – before being driven in anger for the first time later in the year. Adding gravitas to the event will be the brooding presence of the XKR-S GT – a be-winged, track-ready version of Jaguar’s super coupe and one of only 20 right-hand drive examples in the world, and the only one in the country.

With a line-up like this, the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb has the making of a feast for the senses, with a bevy of cars from the headline partner of the event very much in the vanguard.