Jaguar XJL Models Star in a Game of Drones

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Two drone racers compete for the chance to ride home in the back of the ultimate long-wheelbase Jaguar, the XJR575.

As nice as it may be, a Jaguar XJ with an extended wheelbase is nothing new. However, in the above video, the automaker uses a modern approach to show off how much room the XJL offers in its second row: drone racing.

Jaguar set up a course consisting of three XJLs and 13 gates shaped like the rear doors of the big cats inside of London’s Alexandra Palace. Two drone racers – one dressed in red and the other dressed in blue – in the back of the most powerful stretched XJ of all, the 575-horsepower XJR575, then sent their machines flying through the gates lit in Phosphor Blue and Red (colors of interior lighting offered in the XJL) and the backs of the XJLs at speeds as high as 60 mph.


ALSO SEE: What Forum Members Have to Say Jaguar XJL drone racing

Drone racer Brett Collis said, “I’ve been racing drones in competition for years, but this is a first for me. The course was a great test, but the fact we were able to go at such speeds proves how much space the doors of the Jaguar XJL gave us. Despite having to fly through the cabin we were still pushing the drones to their top speeds.”

He and his rival weren’t just competing to show that the five extra inches of rear legroom in the XJL makes the back seating area big enough to fly an aircraft through. If he won, he was going to get a ride home in the XJR575 – and probably a fast one. The XJR575’s supercharged 5.0-liter V8 enables the big beast to charge to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.

So who wins? You’ll have to watch to find out. You’ll see the 2018 XJLs in U.S. Jaguar dealerships this fall. Prices start at $84,500.

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including and, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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