Jaguar XF June 2009
My dad is a Jaguar man. He always has and, I imagine always will be a fan of the big cat. Some of my earliest memories are of wafting around in the back of one of Coventry‘s finest. Be it an XJ6, XJ12, XJC or whatever other model had melted my dad’s easily persuaded heart at the time. I remember admiring their grace and curvaceous lines, combined with vast reserves of power whenever it was called upon. At ten years old, I knew that as soon as I was old enough to drive, it would be my sole aim in life to own one of these magnificent beasts.
I’m not ten years old anymore and unfortunately neither I, nor any of my friends have any desire whatsoever to own a Jaguar. Herein lies the problem. Try as Ford may have done and Tata may in the future, the Jaguar brand has not attracted true devotees from this generation. Their brand loyalists are getting older and rarer which is only helping to make the problem worse. For me it’s a mind association thing, I think Jaguar, I see my dad. Therefore buying one would not make me feel young and virile, it would automatically transport me 30 years closer to death.
If I wanted to spend £60k on a sports coupe, I could opt for the evergreen Porsche 911 or I could don my tweed jacket and leather driving gloves and go for the Jaguar XK. I know every man and his dachshund has got a 911 but there’s a good reason for this, they’re very good cars with a sleek, sexy image. As much as the design of the XJ harks back to the XJ6’s from the 1980’s I love so much, this yet again reinforces the slightly staid reputation Jaguar has acquired.
But wait. News had been rumbling for a couple of years of a new kid on the block, a replacement for the retro/ironic S type. Then along it came, the all new Jaguar XF. As promised, this looked like no other Jag that had gone before. The styling, like the advertising was young, hip and trendy in order to appeal to young, hip and trendy people. The interior hasn’t got a hint of walnut, opting for futuristic gadgets and colours straight from an expensive night club instead. Hurray, Jaguar’s saviour had arrived.
I still wouldn’t buy one though. Jaguar may have held true to their promise that the XF would look like no other Jaguar that had gone before. They failed to mention however that the rear end would be borrowed straight from a Mondeo and the front end would resemble a Lexus IS that had just found its wife in bed with the milkman. The prices aren’t exactly attractive either with direct competition from the Germans looking a far more thrifty proposition.
So in conclusion, I wouldn’t buy a Jag and if they continue to ditch their brand image, my dad might not either!