Roadtrip in the land of the vine
We spent two beautiful late-summer days in convoy in the current range of Jaguar cars, heading for Champagne before scrambling through the vineyards in Land Rover off-road vehicles.
When the UK's largest car manufacturer invites you along for two days of fun on the roads of northern France, you’re naturally going to jump at the chance. It was also, of course, an opportunity for Jaguar Land Rover to showcase its entire current range and offer us a glimpse into its future.
We consequently got to test drive the Jaguar XE, the XF Sportbrake, the E-PACE, the I-PACE, the F-PACE SVR, the F-TYPE Coupé SVR and the F-TYPE Cabriolet and, promising to follow the roadbook to the letter, set off for the Champagne region, where we would be spending the night at an old coaching inn overlooking a sea of vines affording breath-taking views across Epernay and the charming villages of Champillon and Hautvillers.
The following day we set off in the Land Rover models, which included the Range
Rover Evoque, the Range Rover Velar, the Range Rover Sport SVR, the Range Rover SVO Autobiography Dynamic and the Discovery. Our 4x4 journey wound its way through the vineyards along picturesque and sometimes steep roads, testing the extraordinary off-road capabilities of each vehicle.
A little history
Whilst Jaguar actually dates back to 1922, when it was known as the Swallow Sidecar
Company, the first Land Rover was, in fact, produced in 1948 in Solihull. Since the first Jaguar was produced in 1935, the brand has launched a number of vehicles that have become legendary, such as the XK120, the C-Type and the E-Type in 1961 and successfully developed the Jaguar DNA, that all of the models in the range have embodied.
Over at Land Rover, meanwhile, it was the demand for a robust, all-terrain utility vehicle that laid the foundations for the company, which was founded by the Wilks brothers in 1948. Today's models date back to the birth of the original Land Rover I-Series, demonstrating the enduring quality and excellence of these vehicles.
The two legendary brands merged to form Jaguar Land Rover in 2008, when Jaguar Cars and Land Rover were both bought from the Ford Motor Company by Indian firm Tata. The head office is currently located in the UK and the company has become the largest car manufacturer in the country.
Looking to the future
The brand has laid the foundations for future developments with the 100% electric Jaguar I-PACE. As of this year, all Jaguar Land Rover models will be fitted with electric technology, providing even more choice for its customers as the company works towards a cleaner future. On-board smart technologies should lead to semi-autonomous and even fully autonomous driving, although driving enthusiasts will always, of course, have the possibility to take back control whenever they wish.
© Jaguar Land Rover / Jan van Devel