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Jaguar’s new XF to walk the tightrope

22 March, 2015

The Jaguar XF was first released in 2007, and is Jaguar’s biggest-selling and most awarded car. The all-new XF is to be revealed on March 24 and, featuring Jaguar’s aluminium-intensive architecture, is expected to provide class-leading efficiency, weight, and design — Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, has said, “I believe the all-new XF will be the best-looking car in its class.”   

The XF’s lightweight credentials are to be highlighted, and Jaguar have thought of something quite outside the square to achieve this. The aluminium-intensive XF will be driven, in what Jaguar call a high-wire drive, across two 34mm thick wires suspended high above water.

Jaguar has enlisted world-renowned stunt driver Jim Dowdall — whose driving has starred in films including James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Indiana Jones titles — to help pull it off.

A teaser video for the feat can be viewed below.

Saltwater Creek Garage

After passing by this building for many years, I decided to call in and ask the owner about his garage and the car that had been parked there. It was a 1982 Hyundai Pony 1200 TLS that he’d inherited from his mother who had bought it when it was nearly new. I was fortunate enough to buy it from him — many had approached him over the years but were turned away. After sitting out there for that long you could not imagine how dirty it was. At least it had never been wet in all that time. The interior is a mid-blue and almost like new — in fact his mother, Irene, had still retained the original factory-fitted thick clear-plastic cover over the mid-blue vinyl door panels.

Lunch with … Roger Bailey

Roger’s story is a classic illustration of what hard work, honesty to the point of brutal frankness, a ‘can-do’ approach, and a racer’s brain can get you in this sport of car racing. Roger, or ‘Boost’ as he’s known up and down the pitlanes of America, was who Kenny Smith turned to when he was dragging a reluctant teenager around the different pit garages at Laguna Seca.
“Scott [Dixon] kept complaining that it was too hot and he just wanted to go back to the hotel pool. I had to tell him that I was trying to secure his future — we weren’t getting much of a look in until we saw Roger who knew everyone and set about introducing Scott as New Zealand’s next big thing.