How Jaguar loop the looped in an F Pace
Video games and toy cars have taught us all as kids that looping the loop is fairly normal – even mundane – but even the concept of trying it in a real car is a surprisingly recent development.
Even more surprisingly, the stunt isn’t that stressful for the car itself – unless the attempt fails, of course! It requires a brave, experienced stuntman and a lot of engineering expertise in constructing a roadway that will withstand the forces.
For the handful of attempts ever made at looping a car, the chosen vehicle has been a small, lightweight one either heavily modified with safety gear or a custom-built track car. The F-Pace might seem a somewhat unusual choice in that company, but the aluminium construction leads to a lower kerb weight than you may expect and the elevated ride height makes the car’s entry to and exit from the loop much easier with a significantly reduced risk of dangerously bottoming out.
The track itself – a 19.08 metre tall ‘clothoid’ (teardrop) loop – took months of planning and engineering to create, with a team of 200. The steel construction had to resist a force equivalent to more than 6 times the F-PACE’s normal weight without flexion, as any deviation in the road itself could have spelled disaster for the stunt. A central axis was constructed to guy the track and prevent the Jaguar being thrown off course.
Filling the brave, experienced stuntman brief was Terry Grant. Terry holds multiple Guinness World Records in stunts and motoring, including driving up the full length of Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb on two wheels in a car and the highest number of cars simultaneously performing donuts (three – don’t ask).
‘All’ that was left was for Terry to hit the ramp at the calculated speed of 53mph – too slow and he’d lose too much speed and fall off the top, too fast and he’d impact the ramp on the climb and fall off – and follow the path marked by the white line through the loop.
In the event, Terry didn’t have to rely on any of the F-PACE’s safety features and the launch of the car and celebration of Jaguar’s 80th anniversary went off without a hitch!