Blog

The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Jaguar Alive Driving Experience

After getting exclusive access to the new Jaguar F-Type at the 2013 Washington Auto Show, my friend Jake and I were invited by Jaguar to a track day in which we could test drive all of Jaguar's top end and most recent models, including the 550HP, $155,000 XKR-S, and the pre-production XFR-S, among others.  Unfortunately the F-Type was still unavailable to drive, although a beautiful orange example from the Paris Auto Show was on hand to demo under the reception tent. Events we took part in were a Timed 0-60 / Top Speed Run, Autocross Circuit, Traction Control Demo Circuit, and Free Drive of any of the available lineup (the XJL was VERY well appointed).  As Jake later pointed out, we drove ~$1,000,000 worth of cars in just a few hours time.

The day started out with being greeted by showcase Jaguars, including a 1967 Jaguar E-Type, with DC plates "ELATED".  The event attracted plenty of exotic cars in the parking lot, mostly Jags of course.

01

Not far away was the Orange F-Type V8 S, and one of MANY XKR-Ss (actually there AREN'T many; the XKR-S is a limited production run vehicle with only 100 examples being sold in the United States).

02

02

Our driving experience started out by road testing the XJ, which was very responsive, although the Eco feature that disables the engine in stop and go traffic was a bit strange (we later disabled it).  All the Jaguars had very sensitive brakes - not a bad thing, but something that took a few minutes to get used to.

03

03

Next we were briefed by Lorraine McKiniry, host of Velocity Channel by Discovery Network's "What's My Car Worth?" who gave a history of the Jaguar brand, culminating in the 2013 lineup, and discussion of future plans for the carmaker.  Then it was out onto the track, where first up was my 0-60 / Top Speed run in the XKR-S.  I reached 90MPH with a 5.5sec 0-60 time (unofficial - official times are forthcoming).  The track was uphill on cold, hard tires, so the XKR-S' specified 4.0 - 4.2 sec range wasn't possible given the conditions.  You can watch my runs and see the live telemetry below!

04

04

Next it was on to the Autocross Course and Handling Tests.  I had a more strict course instructor than Jake did, so I wasn't allowed as much freedom on the course as Jake was which was somewhat disappointing.  The result was a top time of 39.6sec compared to Jake's 37.something sec time.  The Handling Course in the XFR-S was much more fun however, mostly because I startled and impressed the course instructor with a massive drift - he wasn't expecting it, but he was shocked that I maintained full control around the entire turn in a textbook drift without the traction control engaged.  His reaction after I snapped the car back in line for the straightaway was "WHOA!!!... OK.... Um... I didn't know you could do that.  That was very good...  Wow!...  You handled that.... really well!..."

Unfortunately I don't have many pictures from this or the rest of the day... because I was too busy driving!!!

05

05

It was an amazing, fun day!  I wish we'd had more track time!  I think our performance on the course would have improved dramatically with just a little more time to become more acquainted with the cars; but this goes without saying!  I also had two people, one of them a Jaguar representative, ask me who I was writing for - I apparently looked like an automotive journalist for this event (not paparazzi, like so many other occasions - I'm so happy!).

Loved it!  I can't wait to do another track day like it!  Now we're looking into other events sponsored by Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and others to experience more!

Washington Auto Show: 2013

It's become a New Year's automotive tradition of mine to see the Washington Auto Show every year, much like my annual Fall trip to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park to enjoy the car culture along Virginia's most scenic Autumn route.  This year, just like the last, I brought only my beloved 85L II lens to take in the petroheads' art.  I enjoy using a tight lens like the 85L because it forces me to be creative in creating new perspectives to an auto show that thousands of people photograph.  It takes a lot of effort to get a full car shot using the 85L, and that's just part of the challenge... because that's what everyone else is shooting; do I really want that shot?  How can I make it unique?  I hope you enjoy my carporn from the 2013 Washington Auto Show! Bonus points if you can identify the cars from just their detail shots; leave your guesses in the comments section!

You can also see the entire set of photos at my Facebook Page here.  Don't forget to LIKE my Page!

01

01

This Chrysler 300 has had a $10,000+ drop-top conversion done to it.  It was for sale, and had a potential buyer place it on hold.  The US Army also had a display, featuring a minesweeping Bobcat, and soldier launched UAVs.  I wonder if anyone actually returns the drone in a conflict zone like the sticker asks, like a library card.

02

02

There were also some local celebrities on hand.  DJ Flounder, known to the DC area from his time with DC101 on Elliot in the Morning, and Captain Planet!  I also feel that the kid below was paying too much attention to the Maserati, and ignoring the awesome Chevy tow truck begging for attention just a few feet away.  It had a Stingray on the back, for sale.

03

03

Jake and I also had the rare opportunity to demo Jaguar's latest model, the 2014 F-Type S:  a 380HP roadster that aims to compete with Mercedes' SLK55 AMG and SL Series, and BMW's Z4 sDrive35is.  It is also available with a 450HP Supercharged V8 engine.  We found it very comfortable, and we enjoyed the envious looks of onlookers as we tried the vehicle out in the enclosed Jaguar display area.

04

04

I was also happy to see the direction Lincoln is continuing to move in.  I truly hope to see them continue to recover and separate themselves as a retro-modern luxury brand.  That being said, the Chevrolet Impala is a welcome sight with a refreshed yet understated look, but a rear end that reminds me of a VW Passat.

05

05

06

06