Fast, glamorous and oozing class, Kate Ginn finds the Jaguar is a head-turning beauty that demands to be in the spotlight
They say: ‘Pure Driving Pleasure’ We say: ‘British big cat roars’
Stop the search. Banish thoughts of any other – my heart is taken. I have found my soulmate.
I never believed in the idea of love at first sight, but it happened to me in a car dealership in Azaiba this week.
Yes, that’s right, my hunt for the perfect car is over. It ended when I clapped eyes on the Jaguar F-Type Convertible V6 Supercharged, light grey in colour with red leather interior and roof, shimmering like a mirage in the sunshine, waiting for me.
The deal was sealed when I heard its engine burst into life, a low, throbbing, animal-like sound that reverberated through the air like the calling of big cat. Oh my.
This wonderful machine was mine for the day and it’s no exaggeration to say that I had waited all my life for this moment. I’ve been dreaming of driving a Jaguar ever since I was a little girl and finally being up close and personal with one was, quite simply, thrilling.
I almost wanted to keep pinching myself to make sure it wasn’t a dream. I really was behind the wheel of a RO35,950 Jaguar with the open road ahead, just the two of us.
Born in Britain, the Jaguar has always, for me at least, captured the essence of formal Britishness. It is elegant and refined, yet with a little bit of rakish raciness underneath when required.
Although the brand was sold to Indian carmaker Tata Motors in 2008, the F-Type is still built in the U.K (production of the XJ and XF Jaguar cars are now made in Pune) and represents the Union flag with pride.
In fact, Jaguar has just been named best automotive brand in the UK in a survey by What Car? for the third year running.
The car itself has been refined and redefined over the years and the latest incarnation is an unashamed attention grabber. For a start, it looks absolutely stunning, a lithe, lean body, undulating this way and that, with perfect synchronicity. It’s like a work of art. Constructed from lightweight aluminium, the body is strong and rigid, and fundamental to the way the F-Type performs, handles and looks.
From the outside, I could almost detect the whiff of the finest leather interior, as if it had seeped through the doors. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the smell of money.
Inside, is an exquisite combination of ergonomics and luxury. The controls are simple and the instruments clear and concise.
As you would expect of a car at this price, everything is high-end, from the touch-screen display with navigation system and entertainment control, to the shiny stainless-steel touches.
Don’t for a moment think this car is style over substance. Press the start button and the slumbering beast awakes. The engine purrs like a well-behaved kitty, albeit a very large one.
Switch to Sport mode, however, and it emits a satisfyingly deep-throated growl. The exhaust is loud and noisy enough to get you noticed. It’s a sound that I would never get bored of.
Put your foot down and the 3.0 litre V6 Supercharged engine responds with a thrust of raw power, leaping forward like a muscular big cat in pursuit of prey. This is a car that feels alive.
A cheetah can accelerate to 100kmh from a standing start in three seconds. My Jaguar wouldn’t be far behind, taking only 5.3 seconds.
As you have probably gathered, there’s nothing shy and retiring about this car.
Of course, a convertible is made to be driven with the top down – even during the height of an Omani summer. So I did. At the touch of a button, it took just 12 seconds for the roof to be lowered.
As I drove along Qurum’s beachfront, Katy Perry’s song Roar came on the radio and heads turned as we blasted past in a chic blur.
To reiterate, buying this car will cost you RO35,950 base (more to customise and extras). But it made me feel like a million dollars and that, in my view, is priceless.
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