(MAHWAH, NJ) – May 5, 2014 – Today, Jaguar North America announced its first-ever “Villain Academy,” a unique consumer driving experience and special edition of the brand’s Performance Driving Academy, taking place in Austin, Texas, May 9-10. The event invites consumers and brand enthusiasts to be among the first to drive the highly acclaimed new 2015 F-TYPE R Coupe, arriving at retailers in May 2014, and expanding upon Jaguar’s “British Villains” marketing campaign for the Coupe.
The “Villain Academy” is an extension of the Jaguar Performance Driving Academy and will teach consumers to drive like Hollywood Villains in the newest bad boy in town, the F-TYPE R Coupe, alongside stunt driver Ben Collins of “Top Gear” who has worked on movies like Skyfall and the Fast & the Furious series. As Jaguar brand enthusiasts, actor Sebastian Stan, who stars in the number 1 movie in the country, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and actress Mena Suvari, will both be among the first to experience the vehicle before it’s available in retailer showrooms. Taking place at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, TX, the event takes consumers through a series of professional driving instruction, including a relay autocross course, an acceleration “getaway” run, one-on-one coaching, lead-follow track laps and “Villain hot laps.”
“As a live experience, the ‘Villain Academy’ is a creative way to continue our popular British Villains campaign theme, created to support the launch of the F-TYPE Coupe,” said Jeff Curry, Brand Vice President, Jaguar North America. “We’re thrilled to host this unique program for brand enthusiasts, which will enable them to be among the first to experience one of the hottest cars on the market today, the F-TYPE Coupe.”
The Jaguar Performance Driving Academy offers a Level 1 half day and Level 2 and 3, full day driving curriculum program with professional drivers and substantial on-track time with the brand's high performance models – the XFR, XKR, XJR, and now, the F-TYPE R Coupe; allowing participants to satisfy their need for speed, learn more about Jaguar’s performance models and sharpen their driving skills.
British brands Thomas Pink and Meridian will have an integrated presence at the “Villain Academy” as part of a larger partnership with Jaguar. Thomas Pink will host a pop-up style academy/tailoring workshop at the welcome reception event, where participants will be professionally styled in a “Villain Look” and receive complimentary custom shirts on behalf of Pink and Jaguar. Meridian, Jaguar’s official sound system provider, will co-produce consumer video content with Jaguar at COTA, which will be released on Jaguar’s social channels following the event.
Jaguar will also host four winners of its social media contest for the “British Villains” campaign, held in early 2014, at the “Villain Academy.” The contest was hosted on Jaguar’s social media channels and challenged followers and fans to share their own winning “villain-style” songs, mentor, style and persuasion, all credited to the #GoodToBeBad campaign.
The “British Villains” campaign launched in November 2013 at www.BritishVillains.com and captures the premise that Brits have long made the best villains in landmark films, combining intelligence with charm, restlessness with calm and are always confident. As part of the campaign, Jaguar launched its first Super Bowl ad, “Rendezvous,” generating nearly 12 million views to date. Jaguar’s bespoke hashtag to support the ad, #GoodToBeBad, was the most used hashtag during the 2014 Super Bowl, among other accolades for the spot. Jaguar partnered with Gawker Media as the official media sponsor of the campaign, and they will be onsite filming content for Gawker and car enthusiast site Jalopnik.com, to be released in June. Jaguar will continue to update BritishVillains.com through July with information about the F-TYPE Coupe, the newest commercials and unique video content, which highlight the design and technological features of the vehicle. Consumers can sign up for the Jaguar Performance Driving Academy at COTA in Austin (May 6-8) at JaguarUSA.com/Academy.
The new all-aluminum F-TYPE Coupe, including the first F-TYPE R model, expands the Jaguar lineup beginning in May 2014 and starting at $65,0001. Available in three versions, the F-TYPE R Coupe is powered by a 550hp 5-liter supercharged V8 engine and will reach 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and a top speed of 186 mph (electronically limited)2. The F-TYPE S Coupe and F-TYPE Coupe are powered by 3-liter supercharged V6 engines in 380hp and 340hp forms respectively, going 0-60 mph in 4.8/5.1 seconds and top speeds of 171/161 mph2.