Symbol of elegance

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

When I was growing up there was always a certain perception regarding particular car brands.

Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar were some of those brands singled out as for wealthy old men.

But, the world has changed,d and is still changing. This shift in wealth has prompted car makers to also change their approach as far as design and appeal are concerned.

In today's world, money is no longer only in old hands but also in some young hands too.

A few selected journalists were invited to France by Jaguar Cars to view their new XF diesel and XK.

Both cars are in a league of the best in the world.

The new XF diesel is the car that Jaguar South Africa wants to put emphasis on. It was a revelation of a great engine coupled with Jaguar styling.

In this job, it is always good to get inside a great car overseas after a long flight.

After all, the car must be worth travelling that much distance for because the jet lag isn't fun.

When we arrived in Nice, (pronounced niece) France, last Sunday, we were greeted by a few black Jaguar XJs. These were just for taking us around to the hotel and to dinners. Driving on the twisty roads of Nice was fun. Both the XF diesel, the XF 5.0-litre petrol and XK proved to be of high quality and class.

The cars are lookers, but one cannot shake that Aston Martin look of the XK.

The last day of driving, as I had perfected my left-hand driving skill, was more fun, though we got lost and were out by 10km.

The XF diesel model that Jaguar SA would like to put emphasis on proved to be worthwhile.

The gearbox is smooth while the engine is quiet. I tried hard to listen to the diesel "noise" but there was none.

Andrew Gillham, XF programme manager, said the XFs were about efficiency, luxury and performance, and this proved to be so.

The interior of the cars is welcoming and demonstrates the high quality of the vehicle.

We did not get to drive the XFR and the XKR performance models as they were not available for the launch.

The new cars will reach South Africa in June.

Under the bonnet of the XF diesel lies a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine.

The new 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine is something to watch out for.

Pricing of the cars will be revealed during the South African launch.