All entries for Thursday 21 May 2009

May 21, 2009

Cool rider

As part of my new job, I go and look at interesting and innovative new technologies, and see where possible collaborations lie. This is something my new boss is very keen on, and it’s great to be in such a forward thinking area. This is however, slightly beside the point. On Wednesday, such a collaboration led to my boss, another colleague, and I driving to Leicester to attend several meetings over two days. Such a trip necessitated a hire car. And since boss is rather senior member of organisation, he qualifies for rather good things. Having blithely asked his lovely secretary if I could be put on the insurance for the (at that point unknown) car, just in case. I went on with life, expecting not much. However, boss was not in mood to drive, and so I was to split the journey with colleague.

And so it was, that in the course of my work, I got to drive one of these:

Yes, a Jaguar X-type (automatic). Whizzy.

I normally drive a 1.1l Fiat Panda (love love love my little car) and was rather scared at prospect of driving car significantly larger, faster, more expensive and less manual than my little Panda. And having driven it, I still love my Panda. I can’t afford a Jaguar so there’s no point in repining. However, I did appreciate the following benefits:

  • No tailgaters. Clearly if you are driving such a car you have the capacity to go whizzily. You get respect from Audis. (I know!!!!)
  • Responsive acceleration. Normally if I put my foot down, Panda makes a noise and then about 10 seconds later gets up to something resembling the speed of everyone else. In the Jaguar, I put my foot down and whiiiiiiizzzzzy. Hello A34. Who’s the Daddy.
  • Automatic gears make traffic jams much easier. Yes I know, that is partly the point, but I didn’t realise just how much easier. I didn’t stall-because I couldn’t!
  • It’s actually possible to have a conversation at whizzy speeds. Because there is no engine noise. None. It feels like you’re gliding.
  • It’s surprisingly easy to drive. I was expecting it to be fiddly/cumbersome/easily reversed into a)other cars, b)miscellaneous walls, or c) people, but the little beepy things help and it doesn’t feel that much bigger.

Upshot is, I want one please. I would like to keep it, polish it and take it out on weekends to meet my mother. And father. I think my paternalengineer would particularly appreciate it. And maternalworrier might realise that I am to be trusted with her BMW…. gooooaaarn.

[N.B. I am a little naive car wise.Since the demise of ALF (RIP) 2.7 years ago, I have only had the panda. So I get very excited about these things.]

May 2009

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