A CAR reader’s ride up the hill in the Jaguar XKR 75

Published: 06 July 2010

CAR reader Archie Robertson, from Hertfordshire, won a money-can’t-buy prize at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed thanks to CAR Magazine and Jaguar: an XFR super saloon for the weekend and VIP tickets to Goodwood including an unforgettable ride up the hill. Archie and his wife Judy spent Friday at the Festival of Speed with Jaguar hospitality thrown in. But the highlight of the day was a ride in the new Jaguar XKR 75, sitting alongside Jaguar’s chief chassis guru and driving legend Mike Cross, as he slithered and rocketed up Lord March’s front drive. Here he blogs on the ride of his life.

Judy and I really enjoyed Goodwood. The run up the hill with Mike was quite unforgettable – here are some of the highlights of my experience.

The best bits

Meeting the great people from CAR and Jaguar
The huge performance and great noise of the Jaguar XKR 75 rushing up the hill
The (controlled) hooligan antics of Mike Cross, my driver and Jaguar development engineer
The power and poise of the Jaguar XFR we had for the weekend when the road was clear enough to use it

Also good…

The laidback atmosphere of the Festival of Speed; almost everyone looks happy. The only people rushing about are the people racing up the hill
The seat cooling on both the XKR 75 and the XFR: just brilliant on a hot day
Sitting in the XKR 75 in the Goodwood paddock, manoeuvring around the site and coming back down the hill. You’re really conscious of thousands of eyes staring at you, but you can also hear what people are saying about the car and the driver: very, very positive

Not so sure about

The Jaguar XFR’s fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are high, as you would expect in a 503bhp supercharged monster. But the tank seemed small and the range is correspondingly limited. I’d find this annoying if I was going to use such a vehicle every day

Sadly not good

Traffic congestion. Driving in the south east is terrible due to congestion. Goodwood is about 70 miles from my home – yet it took three and a half hours to get there!
Is there any point in trying to enjoy a supercar in such an environment? This weekend meant me wonder
Happily I now spend most of my time on the open roads of north west Scotland, where you can really appreciate quality motoring, even if I can’t access an XFR or XKR 75. Still, maybe one day…