Recently I had the chance to spend a weekend in the company of a BMW 335d M-Sport coupe. As befits a press car it was well-specified, with red leather sports seats and access-all-areas iDrive, along with a set of kerb magnet 19-inch alloy wheels to complement its menacing black colour scheme. Darth Tractor and I got along so well I put 973 miles onto the odometer over 48 hours.
But tempting as it was, this wasn't my ideal car. The more Darth Tractor and I conquered the roads of southern England together, the more I wanted something with a better ride, a more stylish cabin, and an exterior with a bit less ubiquity and a bit more distinctiveness. Dare I say it, something British might be nice too?
What I decided I wanted was a 3-series sized Jaguar: something a thirty-something can realistically aspire to own or lease. It could be a diesel or petrol engine, preferrably a four-seat coupe but a saloon would do. Fortunately CAR has already uncovered plans for the X760 in the October 2010 issue. With that in mind I resisted Darth Tractor's temptation to join the dark side and looked forward to the slow dripfeed of spyshots and teasers before the junior Jaguar arrived in 2014.
While Tim Pollard was down to London last Friday reporting Jaguar's big C-X75 announcement, I was worried. Not about the C-X75, which I loved when I saw it at the 2010 Paris motor show. Nor about the Williams hybrid tech, although it's not the powertrain forum member AReader had in mind when he campaigned for the C-X75 to be built with a proper engine last year.
But I worried about Jaguar's engineers getting distracted by the brightness of its halo car, and not following-through with 'my' compact Jag.
I wish JLR well with the production C-X75, and think the tech story behind that F1-derived hybrid powertrain will be almost as fascinating as the fantasyland gas turbine engines of the C-X75 concept car. But please, DON'T FORGET THE COMPACT JAG!
>>Excited by C-X75, or do you also want a Jaguar to save you from Munich Mondeo ownership? Share your thoughts in the comments section below