Monday, April 29, 2013

The New Jaguar F-Type is Incredible

The Best Technicians are Trained Here
It's been known for some time now that Jaguar was designing a two seat sports car to compete with the likes of two seaters from Porsche. The new car will go on sale in May of this year. Having seen and heard one, I am convinced that Jaguar has a smash hit on their hands.

Former SABCC member and Jaguar North America Training Manager Tony Fleming invited club president Richard Cunningham and me to drop by the regional Jaguar service training center in Atlanta during our recent visit to the area. This spotless, modern facility is reflection of Jaguar's commitment to quality service provided by properly trained technicians. 

A Jaguar F1 Promotional Model
Tony welcomed Richard and me in the reception area of the center where several significant cars are on display. The last North American spec XJS keeps the last ever XJ6 company on the reception floor while several cut away car show engines proudly show off the craftsman's talents. A full-size model of a Jaguar Formula 1 car shares space with a cutaway Land Rover Discovery chassis that took part in a number of auto shows.

Tony proudly showed us through the well-appointed training rooms on the site as well as a number of work benches with the latest specialized factory tools on hand. We then followed him to the garage area where examples of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles were available for hands-on work for the trainees. Among the cars present were two early production examples of the new F-Type roadster.

A Portion of the Reception Area
The training center was assigned a white six-cylinder and a dark gray V8 S. Photos of the cars in recent magazines simply do not do these beautiful shapes justice. They are absolutely stunning. Tony opened the door of the gray roadster and motioned for me to sit at the wheel which I readily accepted.

The supportive seats covered in the most supple of leather were supremely comfortable and form fitting. All of the interior surfaces were covered in leather, aluminum or very high quality man-made materials. Surfaces such as the paddle shifters were covered in a tactile, soft touch material, too. 

Tony invited me to start the car so we could appreciate the sound of the V8. Step on the brake pedal, press the "START" button and the reward is a very non-Jaguar bellow from the four exhaust outlets. The grin on our faces could only be described as silly. Our inner children were very happy, indeed.

The View that You'll See Most Often on the Highway
We were then shown through the Land Rover side of the center where a new all-aluminum Range Rover was there for the benefit of the technicians in training. This very handsome vehicle retains its famous off road capabilities while bringing new levels of comfort and sophistication to its well -heeled owners. A waft of wood, leather and fine wool greeted us as the drivers door was opened. 

The tour wound down back in the reception area where we sat on the comfortable leather lounge furniture and chatted until it was time to depart. Tony promised that he would stay in touch and that he hoped he could get to Mobile soon.

Thanks for your hospitality, Tony!



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