by Charleen Clarke
There is one thing in life that I truly despise: lies. When someone lies to me, I lose all respect for that person. Accordingly, I’m always honest – even when I really shouldn’t be.
But recently I got the magnificent Jaguar F-Type on test – and I turned into a pathological liar.
I had been showing my apartment to a cocky young estate agent and, when we walked out of the front door, he looked at the Jaguar F-Type and swooned. I encountered this sort of behaviour all the time during the test period; I swear I could see some grown men drool with excitement as I blasted past. It’s understandable; the F-Type is one of the sexiest cars on the road.
The aforementioned cocky young one was practically salivating as he walked around the car, admiring its curvaceous lines. “That is the most beautiful car I’ve seen in ages. I wonder who’s driving it,” he muttered.
I piped up right away. “Me,” I volunteered. “No way in hell,” he countered. “You cannot possibly be driving that car.” I assured him that I was. “That’s impossible, completely impossible,” he insisted.
I fetched the keys and unlocked the car. “Now do you believe me?” I asked.
Normally, I ‘fess up to driving a test car. But, with the cocky young one, I didn’t. I gave the impression that the F-Type was my personal car – meaning that I was lying through my teeth. To my delight, the cocky young one was visibly incensed.
“I can’t believe you, of all people, are driving this car. You probably don’t even know anything about cars,” he noted rather rudely.
By now he had managed to thoroughly piss me off. So I decided to lay into him – with a fact or two. I proceeded to tell him how incredible it was to drive the award-winning F-Type.
“It’s the most dynamically capable, performance-focused Jaguar around, you know – so it’s a blast to drive. In fact, I cannot wait to get behind the wheel each morning.”
Then I did some name-dropping.
“I had dinner with Ian Callum, director of design at Jaguar, last year. We were chatting about design. He believes that great sports car design is about proportion and purity. He says most challenging element of the process for designers is to focus on and maintain an exciting silhouette that promises performance. With the latest F-Type, Ian looked at how he could fine-tune key details to deliver even more clarity of purpose in the overall design – for the driver, the passenger and onlookers.
I think he’s done a damn fine job, don’t you?” (The cocky young one just grunted.)
Now I was on a roll. So I decided to test the cocky young one’s knowledge.
“I’m guessing you know that this car has a new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Ingenium engine, right? It boasts superb performance, with outputs of 221 kW and 400 Nm … propelling this car from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds. I’m guessing you know its top speed of course?”
The cocky young one started mumbling. “Err I suppose around 200 km/h or so. It’s a little 2.0-litre, after all,” he muttered.
“You’re not even close. This is the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever fitted to a Jaguar – and it propels this car to a top speed of 250 km/h. I don’t suppose your Corolla Quest is quite as impressive huh?” I asked with an evil smile.
Funnily enough, the cocky young one hasn’t returned. Which is a good thing for two reasons. Firstly, the Jag is gone (so he would know that I lied). Secondly, I’ve decided that I don’t want him to sell my apartment anymore. Wonder why …?
South African, Charleen Clarke, is Editorial Director,
Focus on Transport and Logistics:
She has won a boot load of awards, including South African Motoring Journalist of the Year and South African Commercial Vehicle Journalist of the Year. She is a former chairman and president of the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.
Charleen is a judge in Women’s World Car of the Year, an associate member of the International Truck of the Year jury, and a judge for the South African Car of the Year.