President, Coscharis Motors, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, could not hide his excitement at the Jaguar siblings. At a chance meeting with him at his Awoyaya showroom along Lekki Ajah Road, Lagos, the business mogul opened up on the Jaguar brand.
Opening the rear door of the Jaguar XJ model in the posh showroom, Dr. Maduka asked “Isn’t this majestic? Jaguar knows how to finish luxury sedans and the XJ is a typical example of how creative, Jaguar engineers are.
Although Dr. Maduka admitted that Coscharis has not done enough yet to promote the Jaguar brand to the level it ought to be, he described the brand as very unique and sporty. The brand according to him, has this aura that stands it out anywhere, and the finishing is very catchy.
While I share Dr. Maduka’s view about the Jaguar siblings, I remembered telling him that the taste of the pudding was in the eating and that I needed to drive the Jaguar to confirm all he was telling me about the brand.
The opportunity came when I got the invitation to test-drive the Jaguar models with other Motoring journalists from the Sub-Saharan Africa. The test-drive was in Durban, South Africa. We arrived Oliver Thambo airport, Johannesburg.
Freshened up and rested for few hours at the hotel within the airport before proceeding to Durban where the test-drive was slated. The flight from Johannesburg to Durban was about an hour. But unknown to us the test-drive was to start right from the Durban airport.
As we came out from the airport, the Jaguar models XJ and XF saloon were stearing at us. The test-drive was about to kick off and the journalists paired up in a car. One does not need anyone to tell him that the engineers who crafted these cars knew what they were doing. They were colourful and very attractive.
As usual, the Jaguar/Land Rover Driving instructors welcomed us with familiar smiles and handed the keys to us. They told us that we were travelling over 100 kilometres from the Durban airport to our lodge, the Karkloof Spa, a five star resort with game reserve and other head-turning amenities.
Truly a five star resort, Karkloof Spa was simply an epitome of luxury just like the Jaguar siblings. With 16 luxuriously appointed villas, surrounded by trickling streams. From the moment you arrive, wildlife abounds with Rhino and Buffalo grazing lazily as herds of wildebeest, giraffe and nyala roaming freely in a well protected and conserved environ-ment. With over 3500 hectres of pristine, indigenous terrain, Karkloof spa boasts roving river and crystal clear waterfalls. Nearly 300 bird species live in the forest and valley.
The rooms were stylishly decorated and tastefully furnished. We guess, Jaguar deli-berately brought us here to compare nature and the Jaguar-made luxury. I was even told that when the Sultan of Brunelli visited Durban, my own particular villa was his abode. It was majestic.
Back to the Jaguar models. The long drive from the Durban airport and Karkloof Spa was memorable. Driving a Jaguar model, be it XJ or XF is an excitement you can’t forget in a jiffy.
The power is amazing and the comfort is five star. You wouldn’t like to drop the XJ long wheel version if you drive one. You would wish the road gets longer. The most exciting aspect of the Jaguar XJ is the comfort the top of the range offers.
The seat pampers you like a child in its mother’s arms, especially the massager which works on your lower back. The quietness of the interior too is unprecedented, while intelligent stop/start ignition save your fuel in heavy traffic. The XF is available in 2.0 litre i4 turbocharged, 3.0 V6 supercharged and 5.0 litre V8 supercharged with ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
The XJ model is top of the range offering three engine variants including the 5.0 litre V8 supercharged petrol, 3.0 V6 supercharged petrol and 3.0 litre V6 turbocharged diesel. All the engines come with eight speed automatic transmission with intelligent stop/starts.
The Jaguar models are quite fast. For instance, the 5.0 litre engine version accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds while it takes the 3.0 litre petrol engine 5.9 seconds to hit the same speed. The top speed is 250 km/h.