As a sight, it was a wonder to behold. On the opening day of the New York motor show a visitor, invited by a manufacturer, saw the Jaguar XKR-S GT and wanted to buy it. On the spot. He wanted to drive it off the show stand, and take it home with him. And here were his bank details, thank you very much.
I didn’t hang around to listen to the artful diplomacy that was no doubt being wheeled out by the Jaguar dealer in attendance, but as far as I’'m aware, the XKR-S GT remains on the show stand. And it’'s for this very reason that you have to celebrate these sorts of limited edition specials.
On paper, the XKR-S is slightly mad. It'’s expensive at £135,000, it’'s got niche appeal because of its track bias and it’'s more than a touch brash when compared to, say, the Ferrari 458 Italia, which it will lap the fabled (but over-quoted) Nürburgring in the same time as. Mad, but utterly loveable.
You have to admire Jaguar for having the balls to produce such a car. While management insists the project is profitable, it also has to be considered something of a labour of love, a lot of effort for a very small sales return. But then again, if you’'re Jaguar and you want to make a splash at a key motor show, setting yourself apart from your more mainstream opposition, what better way is there to do it than with a Boy'’s Own race car for the road?
If I had the money, I'’d have joined the queue behind the wannabe buyer. Daniel Craig might have popped in to New York in a Range Rover Sport, but I’'d bet my last dollar that his alter ego would have chosen the Jag.