Most stylish, radiant and powerful car

FOUNDED in Coventry in 1922, Jaguar is as English as fish and chips, the Spice Girls and gloomy weather.

FOUNDED in Coventry in 1922, Jaguar is as English as fish and chips, the Spice Girls and gloomy weather.

Faced with a buy-out last year, I can just imagine the look on some Jaguar employees' faces when they were informed their company had been bought by the Indian conglomerate Tata.

Out went the traditional bangers and mash for lunch in the staff canteen to be replaced by chicken tikka and samoosas. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall!

A year later, and with hindsight, it was probably a beneficial move for both parties.

The car market went into free-fall yet the niche-brand Jaguar remains strong enough to launch two new prestige model ranges in trying times.

Launched last week, the XF and XK has been long anticipated and after quickly shaking off those recession blues, I latched on to the XK 5.0-litre V8 convertible for an afternoon drive through the Magaliesberg meander.

Straight off I must confess I hate this vehicle.

It has nothing to do with the drop-dead gorgeous looks that had motorists and pedestrians alike eager for a closer inspection.

It has nothing to do with the whopping V8 that delivers 375kW and a blazing 625Nm and is guaranteed to see you fly from 0-100km/h in just under five seconds.

The fact that the two rear seats are impractical doesn't really matter. After all, you are buying a sports car, not a family runaround.

The reason I hate the XK convertible has nothing to do with it having an electronically-governed top speed of 250km/h when deep down I know it could get close to 300km/h; nor due to the fact that the leather interior and stitching is of the highest quality and colour matching is at the owner's discretion. No. The reason I hate the new XK convertible is because the R1070000 price tag it carries means I will never get to own what is arguably one of the most beautiful, stylish and powerful motor vehicles on the road today!

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