The getaway is a key component of effective villainy. With this in mind, the four winners of Jaguar's Villain Academy contest gathered at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to sharpen their driving skills at the Jaguar Performance Driving Academy. Lapping COTA in an F-TYPE might not make these contestants evil, but after watching the video above it's fair to say they're well prepared for a getaway.
For the lucky contestants, a day at the Jaguar Performance Driving Academy also meant spending time with classmates like Mena Suvari and Sebastian Stan. With instruction from the team of Jaguar Professional Drivers, the track sessions included an autocross with the XFR and XJR, plus J-turn lessons in an XKR as demonstrated by The Stig, Ben Collins. The real star, of course, is the new Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupe, a car that perfectly exemplifies Jaguar's "Good to Be Bad" tagline: it's just wicked in all the best ways possible. And like a good villain, the F-TYPE R Coupe doesn't just look the part — there's some cold, calculating substance beneath the surface, including a 550 horsepower V-8 with a nefarious exhaust cackle.
It's not just about loud noises and a four-second, zero-60 time either. The F-TYPE R Coupe has all the technology to satisfy the serious driver on a world-class track like COTA: carbon ceramic brakes that provide lap after lap of fade-free performance, an active rear differential that makes the most of the engine's massive power, and a torque-vectoring system that controls the rear wheels, to keep the F-TYPE going exactly where it's pointed.
The participants experienced all this firsthand in the final exercises of the day: a lead-follow with instructors around the track, followed by hot laps with Collins weaving in and out of the pack. Like we said, these folks might not be evil, but we definitely hate them a little bit for being so lucky.
Mike Austin is the Director of Creative Strategy for Tiny Toy Car. He was previously Automotive Editor at Popular Mechanics and Technical Editor for Car and Driver. He lives in Michigan with a Buick Roadmaster Wagon.