There were more memorable cars that I drove in 2015, more exciting ones, faster ones… You get the idea. But none held as much significance as the Jaguar XE, my own car of the year.
This was the car on which Jaguar bet the future of the company, and as such it simply had to get it right. New chassis, new engines, new factory - such significant investment doesn’t come around that often, so the pressure was on to deliver.
The first XE I drove was a late pre-production petrol V6-powered model in Germany. The late-April weather was horrible, cold, wet and dreary, much like most of the German executive cars sat outside Stuttgart airport the day I landed there.
The XE was waiting for me outside a hotel. It was bright red and stood out like something really bright and cliched in front of something dull (it’s been a long year, dear reader). Basically, it looked very nice indeed.
Jaguar engineers have long spoken about how the feeling you get from a car in the first few yards defines much of your later experiences in it.