Three years in the making, the world’s biggest Jaguar Land Rover Experience facility opened in the heart of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs this week.
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 can visit and enjoy various experiences. A wide variety of activities for any age group are designed to showcase the range of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, as well as 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, with technology showcases and branded goods ranges. The highlight of the facility, however, is that any cars in the ranges can be trialed on a variety of test tracks through a selection of Experience drives.
The property is home to the Kingsley Holgate Expedition Trail: 3km of off-road tracks named in honour of the long-time global ambassador of the Land Rover brand. At an Adventure Park adjacent to the main building, a series of tailor-made obstacles are designed to put off-road vehicles to the test in view of other 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 instructors.
TLC on the Track restaurant, 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 with free activities, including a miniature “Growler” racetrack where tiny electric Jaguar F-TYPEs can be raced around by children up to age 5. Kids aged 3-12 can also gain 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, fall under the watch of permanent child minders.
At a pair of Personalisation Studios – one for Jaguar and one for Land Rover – visitors can build digital versions of cars via large touchscreens, with a wide selection of colour and material swatches, which are digitally realised in full colour displays.
Experience Johannesburg is also available 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.