'Hold on, Oom!' How a random senior citizen ended up riding shotgun in the ferocious Jaguar F-Pace SVR

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*The below story took place before the outbreak of the coronavirus in South Africa. 

Today the F-Pace SVR arrives in our office!

Goodness gracious, have I ever been this nervous for a car before?! The palms of my hands are sweaty and sticky. There is a hollow knot in my stomach. And with every move I make I remember that it's my first V8-powered test car in almost two years. I'm ready, but I also know that an elderly man is waiting for me.

A few days prior, I made a quick dash to the shop. When I entered the store, a senior citizen kept looking at me. His eyes fixed on the Volvo XC60 I had been driving at the time. I greeted, and then he began asking all kinds of questions. He is a Volvo fan and is on the verge of getting his ducks in a row to purchase one.

Long story short, he gathered what I do for a living and could not contain his excitement for finally meeting a 'motoring journalist.'

Then more questions poured out, and I opted to calm his giddiness. "Meet me Wednesday morning, at 11:00, here in the store's restaurant," I said, and explained that the F-Pace SVR is on its way.


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Jaguar F-Pace SVR

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

Getting ready

His words are mauling in my head: "11:00, right? Wednesday morning?" He was so excited when I told him, so I better not have him wait on me.

I head over to the store and make sure that I'm there at 10:30. Earlier than agreed upon, because I don't particularly appreciate having people wait on me. Alas, guess who is waiting? Our guest of honour! He already had his breakfast, and is paging through the newspaper.

REVIEW: Hoolihah! The devil breathes fire into this Jaguar F-Pace SVR

"Good morning, Oom!" I said and reach out my hand. Oh man, his face lit up when he saw I stuck to my word. He was overly-excited and gave me some time to enjoy my breakfast. Then the message from the fleet manager came: 'We're minutes away. See you soon.'

I get up, walk over to the man with the walking stick and explain that I'll be right back. He nods and agrees, and I make haste to collect the SUV.

Jaguar F-Pacec SVR

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Image: MotorPress

A promise is a promise

I return a few minutes later, and Oom is already waiting outside. He walks around the car and whistles when he sees the four exhaust pipes. "Do you want to go for a quick drive? We won't go fast ,nor far," I ask as I gesture with my hand.

He looks perplexed and tries to downplay the situation, but eventually agrees. I make myself comfortable in the driver's seat, but my esteemed guest is taking a bit long. "Please excuse me for taking my time," he says, "but my back is done with this old world."

WHAT?! Oom, do you know what we're dealing with here?! This is a 405kW monster! It will push your back further out of alignment! I dial in the necessary settings and start the SUV up. Good grief! A noise breaks out over the parking lot, and my giggling passenger rubs his hands in excitement. We make our way to the road and wait for it to clear just enough.

READ: Jaguar's F-Pace Chequered Flag SUV is in SA - we have pricing and details

"Hold on," I say to my passenger before smashing the throttle. "WHOOOOO!!!" he screams as we burst through the first two gears.

"How fast was that!?" he asks as he clutches his walking stick between his legs. I told him that we only just touched 70km/h, and he then breaks out in laughter and claps his hands together again before finally saying something that makes sense: "That was fun!"

Back at the store, Oom and I chat about the SUV's technical details before finally saying our goodbyes. I suppose, I've done my good deed of the week that day. And for a few fleeting moments, an older man forgot about his back problems.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

Technical glance:

Engine: 5.0-litre V8, supercharged

Power: 405kW

Torque: 680Nm

Gears & Drive: Eight-speed auto, AWD

0-100km/h: 4.3sec

Top speed: 283km/h

Price: R1 576 926

Jaguar F-Pacec SVR

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Image: MotorPress

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