If ever there was a car that you have to see in the flesh to fully appreciate it is Jaguar's new XF. Launched onto the Australian market just last month the first XF to turn a wheel in anger (at least in Australia), is the XF SV8 you see above which competed in last weekend's 2008 Mountain Rally organised by the Jaguar Drivers Club of Australia.
The supercharged SV8 driven by Jaguar Land Rover Australia's managing director David Blackhall, joined a field of seventy classic, veteran and modern sports cars. The mostly tarmac rally, ran through western New South Wales over two days and covered about 700 kilometres of classic Australian landscape.
Organiser Gary Maher tested the field with a challenging mix of fast secondary roads and motorway and freeway driving, including a lap of Bathurst's Mt Panorama where the above image was snapped.
"We believe this is the first time an XF has turned a wheel in anger anywhere in the world. It was a stunning drive that allowed us to showcase the entire dynamic range of this staggeringly competent chassis and powertrain combination. We didn't take the prize, but with only 9.5 points lost it was a good result for the weekend. With a better driver we might have contended," said Blackhall
Organiser Garry Maher said "We can state with certainty that the 2008 Mountain Rally was the first time an XF Jaguar ran a lap at Mt. Panorama - that's quite an achievement for the Club and the marque."
The XF has sparked plenty of controversy, mainly for its styling but I'll happily take my SV8 in black...or silver...