As of late, Jaguar has been on a roll — pumping out new model after new model, all of which have been more desirable than the last. Recently released models, like the Jaguar XFR-S are helping spearhead the company’s movement to update their brand perception. Becoming less of a British car maker that makes luxurious, yet unreliable cars and more of a true high-performance, luxury brand to challenge the likes of BMW and Mercedes.
As with any car maker with ambitions of high-performance, Jaguar does extensive testing of their vehicles at the Nürburgring; a track that has become even more legendary than the cars that test on it. Much of the testing conducted at the Ring (and elsewhere) is held in the utmost secrecy. Not because testing, numbers and R&D is inherently boring — it isn’t — but because of money, marketing and business. It’s the same reason the US government has Area 51 — to ensure prying eyes don’t get the upper hand. When each production model cost millions, you can see why secrecy is taken so seriously.
And J.F. Musial of YouTube’s DRIVE network was given the opportunity to enter the black-hat world of Jaguar’s Nürburgring test facility. The Area 51, the skunkworks of Jaguar’s recent foray into creating high-performance variants of their ever popular line-up of luxury road cars. The tour is led by Phil Talboys, Jaguar’s head of European Test Operations. One fact in the video, in particular, stood out above all the rest — Jaguar’s specially modified track-only XJ. Surely not impressive in its own right, but Jaguar did their modifications around a full-body roll cage, five-point racing harnesses and Recaro racing seats front and rear. And their use for such a car? To ‘taxi” journalists and VIPs around the Nurburgring. Sounds like fun.