Taming the wild cat

2012-10-20 15:07

Think Jag, think fuddy-duddies!

Jaguar has the dubious honour of being associated with old money personified by grey-haired men with tobacco pipes and faded golf caps.

As I snuggled into the comfy white-leather seat of an XF R to drive my girls around for a weekend, I knew a different picture would be painted.

The “old-man” persona was thrown out the window and we screamed hip and happening.

The Jaguar XF R has a supercharged 5-litre V8 engine. It churns out 375kW of power and 625Nm of torque.

It has flashy 20-inch wheels, which sets it apart from the rest of the range, and a sporty new front-end with chrome air intakes.

It also has two bonnet air vents with the word “supercharged” emblazoned on them and four shiny exhaust tailpipes that leave a gentle drone in your ears.

The weekend involved lots of driving around, including making a young man’s matric ball special.

I had to escort the 18-year-old and his date to their gala dance.

Typical, she seemed a tad disappointed as the guy appeared more excited about being in the Jag than about her dress.

Although the beastly cat makes all that power, it has a gentle purr that warns of its ferocious bite.

It’s not the eccentric type and not the kind of car you may want to rev up in the street.

Even if you wanted to, the revs kick out at 4 000 rpm (revolutions per minute) instead of red-lining at the end of the counter for a good roar, so that’s quite a let down.

What the girls had to say: Judy Swile (33) from Athlone in Cape Town said: “Being driven in such a luxurious car made me feel like I sat inside a huge bullet.

It’s fast and controlled, or it may just be Janine’s good driving skills. Either way, it offered awesome speed.

“I loved being chauffeured like I was an out-of-town star.

The only time I preferred riding shotgun was at night and it was a bit cooler. I longed for those seat warmers up front.

“I’m not too familiar with Jaguar, but this car made heads turn everywhere we went and lots of compliments were thrown our way.

“This car is sexier than me. The white leather interior really added that ‘I’m rich’ feel and I felt secure with all the airbag signs.

“I really can’t say anything bad because I secretly created a bond with it by connecting to the Bluetooth function. Awesome!

“When I grow up one day or win the lottery – whichever comes first – I want this car in my garage.”

Nazli Idas (32) of Stellenbosch said: “It has gorgeous curves and it reminds me of a beautiful, voluptuous woman.

The interior is breathtaking, spacious and warm.

I liked how smooth the car drives on the road, but at the same time the transition from gliding to a roaring beast engulfs your whole body with its mind-blowing torque.

“Being chauffeured most of the time made me feel aristocratic, like being in my luxurious chariot. All that was missing was the grand ball and the handsome prince.

“It constantly made heads turn. The Jag demands attention and it gets it. But it was annoying for anyone wanting to use the multimedia touchscreen. I wanted to roll on the floor with laughter every time the touchscreen only responded after being poked a dozen times.
“I could do without the ear-piercing pings of the park-assist sensors.”

» Follow me on Twitter: @SpeedQueen

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