Next up was the most relevant test which these cars can be put through to assess their mettle in the Indian driving conditions – the Lane Change Manoeuvre. It is an evasive braking manoeuvre to replicate a panic braking situation. The course requires the driver to – accelerate hard, get off the throttle, switch the lane, brake hard – in quick succession. This helps in understanding the car’s temperament if someone jumps in front, or if the driver needs to dodge a truck’s absurd manoeuvre on the highways. One can experience the ABS working with all its might when braking hard in this test.
After the slalom, it felt like a walk in the park for the XE and XF. Even the F-Pace proved itself yet again and remained in control while taking sudden turns. But the most important part of this experience was getting behind the biggest Jaaaaaaag! – The XJ L. At five meters in length, the XJ L is massive by all standards. It sits on enormous 19-inch wheels and puts out 296bhp from the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel. It is opulent, to say the least, and weighs almost two tonnes!
When I put the pedal to the metal in the Big Jag, the big fat cat turned into a ferocious feline and hurled itself down the course in no time. After letting go off the throttle I turned the massive steering wheel and the XJ L turned as if there was a shift in the tectonic plates. Once in the other lane, the XJ settled down like a Wall Street executive tidying up his/her outfit after a brawl. And when I pressed the brake with all my might, I could sense the modern-age electronic wizardry working overtime to keep things in check. Understandably, all the engineering and heritage associated with the XJ became apparent in this simple manoeuvre.