Brian Joss – After more than three years in the making, the world’s biggest Jaguar Land Rover Experience facility is now open in Lonehill, Johannesburg.
What was once a rustic venue in the middle of a 14-hectare Lonehill veld is now a state-of-the-art lifestyle destination where families are welcome to visit and enjoy the many memorable experiences on offer. A wide variety of activities for any age group are designed to showcase not only the entire range of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, but also the lifestyles that go along with them.
The reception area of the Welcome Centre is divided into two separate brand display zones for Jaguar and Land Rover respectively. Here visitors can get up close and personal with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest products, technology showcases and branded goods ranges. The beauty of the Experience facility, however, is that the range can be trialed on a variety of test tracks through a selection of drives.
The property is home to the Kingsley Holgate Expedition Trail – 3km of off-road tracks named as an homage to the long-time friend and global ambassador of the Land Rover brand. There’s also an Adventure Park adjacent to the main building where a series of tailor-made obstacles are designed to put the world’s most capable off-road vehicles to the test in plain view of visitors.
A 70-metre diameter skidpan, or Dynamic Steering Circle, with central irrigation is on site for low-traction handling exercises, while a 185-metre long and 30-metre wide Dynamic Handling Platform will allow drivers to stretch the legs of various vehicles at higher speeds. All driving courses are hosted by Jaguar Land Rover’s team of skilled instructors.
There’s no need to book driving courses to enjoy the facilities, as TLC on the Track restaurant, ideally placed on the main building’s upper level, is open to the public for walk-ins from 8am to 5pm, seven days a week. TLC specialises in South African-inspired dishes for breakfast and lunch with a vast menu catering for all tastes.
Kids are catered for too with a host of free activities including a miniature “Growler” racetrack where tiny electric Jaguar F-TYPEs can be raced around by children up to age 5. Children aged 3-12 can also gain some valuable off-roading skills at the wheels of quarter-scale electric Land Rover Defenders on a purpose-built off-road track. These activities, along with a jungle gym, and remote-controlled miniature Defenders will be held under the watchful eyes of permanent child minders, so parents can enjoy experiences of their own.
A pair of Personalisation Studios – one for Jaguar and one for Land Rover respectively – take the familiar process of configuring vehicles online to the next level. Here visitors can build digital versions of their dream cars via large touchscreens, together with a massive selection of colour and material swatches which are digitally realised in vivid, full colour displays.
Experience also features a range of facilities ideal for use by special arrangement by other businesses for product launches, events, conferences, casual meetings or team-building days. A 52-seat cinema room can be used along with a selection of conference rooms and private boardrooms with seating for between eight and 50 guests.
The venue is 1 Capricorn Drive, Lonehill, phone 010 023 0462 or email:
CAPTION: Fun experience: a young girl tests the new venue: Picture: Motorpress