Last November 26, members of both the lifestyle and automotive press were invited to the recently completed Clark International Speedway to try out the latest offerings from one of the most prestigious marques in the country and left with a newfound respect for this highly under rated brand.
Although known more for its luxury and comfort, behind the skillful hands of Georges, Stefan and Menchie Ramirez, the big cats were let out of the bag, so to speak, and tore around the race track at a pace that would give even some of the most coveted two door sports cars a through work out. With a 0-100 time just 1/10th of a second shy off a Porsche Boxster, the all new Jaguar XF 3.0 liter twin turbo delivers a whopping 275 horsepower and a staggering 600nm of torque.
It could be seen on the faces of those who had just finished the lapping sessions. “That was beyond awesome” Philippine STAR’s Enrico Miguel Subido says as he alights from the drivers seat of a white XF. “Too much fun!” he continues before swapping places with another eager journalist.
The event was divided in to two sections. The first batch would experience the acceleration and braking through a series of exercises that allowed you to simulate an emergency stop and swerving scenario. Menchie Ramirez, an accomplished racer and widow of the late Kookie Ramirez sat patiently beside each member of the press and helped them appreciate the safety levels that have been engineered into modern Jaguars.
George and Stefan Ramirez had the enviable/daunting task of riding shotgun with a bunch of heavy footed journos that flung the 4 door saloon around like it weighed half as much as its published figures. There were squeals from both the tortured rubber underneath and the instructors and passengers inside as one Jag after another made light work of the notoriously tight and demanding track.
Marc Soong, Executive Director of Jaguar Philippines hosted the day to showcase the often overlooked performance capabilities of the Jaguar brand and cleared up a few misconceptions about servicing by introducing the new service manager to explain the new systems that have been put in place to ensure a smoother delivery of parts.
As the the day ended with a friendly competition around a make shift 20 second slalom course that was won by Christopher Kho, each journalist swapped stories about the tidal waves of torque that would have the ESP warning lights flicker like a christmas tree and the impressive horsepower and relentless acceleration that would see us top out at over 160 km/h in such a contained area, Marc Soong closed the event off by handing out surprise gifts for the top five finishers and ended it with the biggest surprise of all by saying, “Did I mention that these cars you just drove were diesels?”