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The Obscene New Jaguar XFR

I was reading in the paper today about the new Jaguar XFR high performance sports saloon which will, it is claimed exceed 225mph with it’s 510bhp V8 engine.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not an environmentalist, I’m not even a socialist and I most definitely don’t eat any greens… but perhaps my change of attitude over the years is something others increasingly share?

As a teen back in the 70s I’d be drooling over such a car just as I drooled over my first 3-litre, power-bump-equipped Capri! But today somehow, none of that really seems appropriate.

We live in a time when we’ve already seen the effects of fuel shortages, where we are left in no doubt at all about the damaging effects to the environment (climate change) and people (record levels of asthma and allergies) of pollution – and here we have the press celebrating a car that is designed to exceed most legal speed limits by 3 times – and suck in as much fuel as possible in the process, no doubt throwing out proportionate polution in the process.

By glorifying such designs we send a clear message to the next generation – we don’t give a toss about the environment or law – as it’s much more important that we get our kicks!

I drive a luxury, comfortable car which sounds like it’s idling at 70mph and is ideally suited to faster roads of Europe, yet it’s top speed is more than enough to get me a ticket almost anywhere in Europe, accelleration is good enough to get me out of a jam and it’s fuel consumption exceeds 40mpg – which means in terms of efficiency and environmental factors it competes favourably with most family cars.

Would it not be better if Jaguar and other designers who are very capable of influencing the young, put their skills to moving the car out of the 20th century, not just by producing token hybrids to put up at shows but by mass producing something that will help us reduce our dependency on people who would like to kill us, that would no longer contribute to polluting our air and which would be safe. NONE of that means such a vehicle can’t be exciting. There is no reason at all why hybrid and electric cars have to look like toys as some recent models have shown – and performance can still be well-acceptable… it’s all down to mind-set.

As it stands, the new Jag in the context of today’s issues really to me seems like the height of stupidity.

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