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.

I got extra-lucky and was able to drive alone (we usually share with fellow hacks), so I spent a couple of hours in each of the three XFs: the 2.2 diesel, V6 3.0 S diesel and the XFR.

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.