Lucky as I am, being a motoring journalist does not simply consist of driving around in flashy cars. 6.00am check-ins, long days of travelling and trying to write a considered road test while squeezed into seat 26E on a BA flight keep your feet on the ground. Metaphorically, at least.
However, there are times when it all comes together: a fabulous car on fabulous roads in fabulous weather. And time to enjoy it. I had one of those days earlier this week. The Jaguar XF launch saw us picking up cars from Munich airport (the XF press conference was held by Terminal 1, just a few metres away from the Audi centre) and driving south. We wound out through the immaculately farmed flat lands south of the city and then headed up into the mountains.
It was the express intention of Jaguar’s PR department to launch the car on the same roads used by the German carmakers. It was a small, and very gentle, British invasion of Bavaria. The first day was spent in the XF 2.2, on a three-hour drive towards the Austrian border. It’s a fine car, well balanced and highly polished. More importantly, it has much more enthusiasm for the open road than BMW’s new (and remarkably, stolid) 5-series.