Now that was a fun way to launch a car. Instead of the usual covers off and executive speeches telling you how sliced bread has just been usurped, Jaguar chose instead to show the world the F-Pace for the first time by running it through the world’s largest loop-the-loop.
Stunt drive Terry Grant fired the F-Pace at a 19.08-metre-high ‘0’, the 0 in a giant 80 to signify Jaguar’s 80th anniversary. He made it, and set a new Guinness World Record in the process, the 22nd to his name, presenter Martin Brundle told the assembled crowd.
The stunt was the result of a precise mathematical formula, and several months of planning. Grant had to approach the loop at 53mph. When he was going round, the speed dropped as low as 15mph. He had to follow a white line throughout the whole movement to ensure he kept it the right way up in a stunt that lasted just three seconds all in, and saw him pull 6.5G.
Oh, and it was wet. Really wet. Earlier, Frankfurt Airport had been closed as a result of stormy weather, and the weather had only just been cleared in time for the stunt to go ahead.
Grant had never practiced it in the wet either, and stepping onto the stage after he’d finished there was standing water everywhere. At that point, the shakiness in Grant’s voice as he gave his celebratory speech and his talk of nerves beforehand seemed all the more real.
Out the other end of the loop though came the first production version of the F-Pace, intact and not with a squashed roof. Whatever the F-Pace’s eventual success or otherwise (it does look lovely, doesn’t it?) we won’t be forgetting in a hurry where we saw it first. If he had a go tomorrow at driving it around the 8 in the giant 80 I’d be even more impressed.