I attended the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb this year as a guest of Jaguar Land Rover. It was my first time attending the event, which is otherwise known as the Knysna Speed Festival. It takes place over 3 days with various activities like Classic Car Fridays, town parades, car displays, and King of the Hill Shootout. Usually about 80 cars take part in the main event, King of the Hill Shootout but there were about 84 cars this year. It’s a 1.9km stretch. The most interesting cars get chosen to participate, which includes a media challenge (of 5 local motoring journalists).

Jaguar hillclimb

The winner of the King of the Hill was set by Franco Scibante at a new record of 38.646 seconds, and the winner of the media challenge was Ashley Oldfield for cars.co.za at 52.1 seconds.

Jaguar South Africa also unveiled it’s first SUV in a very dramatic way of course, via helicopter, visible from all angles. I got to see it afterwards, up close and get inside! In case you haven’t seen it, it’s one good looking SUV. My absolute favourite? The tech that’s packed inside it!


I spoke to Izak Louw, product specialist from Jaguar Land Rover South Africa briefly about the tech inside the car. It features a 10.2″ touch screen with the company’s latest generation InControl Touch Pro system, which I’m told has Car Play and Android Auto support. Other connectivity options within the system include creating a WiFi hotspot (from your device), turning on WiFi and mobile data. The latter is possible because the car has a SIM card slot! It also has 2x USB 3.0 ports (speedy!), and HDMI. Yup, talk about working from your car. Talk about your car *being* a WiFi hotspot! I played with it very briefly; it was speedy and responsive, however this is a pre-production model. It is equipped with a 3L supercharged V6 engine (280kW) with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The F-PACE launches in South Africa in July, starting at R776 800.

InControl Touch Pro

Seeing as this was *the* opportunity to showcase all things Jaguar, the limited edition Project 7 also made its appearance on the track. Only 250 were made, and five are in South Africa. It’s the most powerful Jag ever made yet, and priced at R2.9m each. Don’t worry about contacting your nearest dealer to buy one, all five are sold.

Project 7

Lastly, all guests were given a ride on the 1.9km stretch. I got to go on the Jaguar XF, amazing car and tech. We went just after an oil spill, so couldn’t go as fast as we could, but thrilling none-the-less! And it was over in about a minute.


Thanks for having me, Jaguar Land Rover. Hope to play with all the new tech in the near future!