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Competition winner blog: a CAR reader's Jag XKR weekend
22 November 2010 13:02
CAR reader Dominic Owen entered this summer's competition to win a Jag XKR for a luxury weekend away at a top Cotswold hotel. Here's his blog on a weekend with the supercharged Jag.
The story starts with a persistent caller one Friday in August. I had taken the day off and the number kept showing as ‘unknown’ - so I ignored it. Eventually, I took the call ready to give someone what-for. A terribly polite man called Tim from CAR magazine was on the other end informing me that I’d won the CAR competition, for a weekend in the Cotswolds with the use of a Jag XKR!
The folks at CAR might have been worried that a non-enthusiast had won their competition. They needn’t have been. As a pimply 17-year-old I found a copy of CAR Magazine in our college library and borrowed it (permanently). August 1984: a Ferrari GTO on the front cover. I was hooked.
Jaguar’s press office had been in touch with the spec and the T&Cs. Salsa Red, 510 bhp. Bang goes the licence. When the car is delivered, it looks… metallic black. Not a problem per se, but my wife has spotted an opportunity to repack her weekend luggage. After a few checks and a signature, we’re away. The journey to the Cotswolds is mainly M-way – M62, M1, M69 from my way. Yes, I know, but it’s Friday afternoon and we’re keen to get there.
How the Jag XKR measures up
There’s plenty of space for two – forget any back-seat occupation if you’re on the tall side. The boot is spacious enough for a weekend’s luggage (but not the golf clubs I’m afraid). The front seats are totally adjustable and very comfortable. The ride is not too harsh given the low profile Dunlops; and the car feels well put-together.
The ICE is excellent; B&W speakers with surround sound, controlled by a centre console that also looks after the climate and navigation. It’s intuitive and detailed without being fussy. My wife loved it. Well done Jag.
The fun begins on the A429 towards Stow. Good grief, this car is quick. The paddles are superfluous – the auto change up/down is super smooth with little discernible lag. Try wiping the smile from my face, this is brilliant. I had imagined that much power, combined with RWD, being too much for my decidedly average driving skills to cope with; but it didn’t step out of line whatever the road conditions – even the coldest October for 17 years wasn’t going to ruin our fun.
We put over 500 miles on the clock in three days, and enjoyed every single one of them. We stayed at the Washbourne Court Hotel in Lower Slaughter, high up in the Cotswolds – a ‘boutique’ hotel catering for the well-heeled, and for this weekend only, us as well. This was the second part of the prize, and I can say that we well and truly ‘arrived’ – only to find a Bentley Arnage and a 612 Scaglietti in the car park! Oh well…
Jaguar XKR: a reader verdict
The weekend was excellent (thanks CAR). The car is stunning, but the packaging makes it suitable mainly as a weekend car, most likely for the golf club. As a family man I couldn’t justify buying one, not even during my mid-life crisis, which is a shame. It is worth every penny though, no question.