6 years ago


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The latest issue of The Jaguar magazine introduces our new ‘cub’, the E-PACE compact practical sports car, which is already turning heads on the street. As we commit to electrifying every new Jaguar by 2020, we explore how pushing boundaries on the track helps develop our sports cars, from writing motorsport history at Le Mans, to taking on the Nürburgring with the extreme XE SV Project 8 and being at the very cutting edge with the FIA Formula E Championship.

MARKE European model

MARKE European model shown. Portrush and Portstewart is even closed every May to form part of the challenging North West 200 international motorcycle road racing circuit. Driving on these roads, it’s quickly apparent Mike Cross and Jaguar’s dynamics team have done what they set out to do: to retain, uncompromised, the extraordinary ride and handling of the XF sedan. The XF Sportbrake keeps that Jaguar dynamic duality: agile and responsive when you want it, quiet and fluid when you need it to be. And with 332 lb-ft of torque on tap from our V6 supercharged 380HP S model, the gradients just flatten. UPWARDLY MOBILE Conditions aren’t right for flying on the beach when we first meet Phil, so he jumps in and we head inland a little to nearby Dungiven. The trunk can easily hold his gear. It’s clear that the elegant visual design clothes a clever, functional space. The tailgate opens with a ‘gesture’ of the foot under the rear side fender – great when your hands are full. It reveals a long, practical expanse with tie-downs and available rails to secure loads, and a divider net to allow you to pack to the roof. There are handles to flip the rear seats forward when you’re standing at the tailgate, and when you’re done and ready to go, the wrist-worn, water-resistant Activity Key lets you lock everything, including the key, inside the Sportbrake. DYNAMIC AIR A paraglider on take-off seems to defy the laws of physics. Phil lets the wind catch and fill his wing, then takes just a few steps into the breeze before it picks him up and carries him improbably upwards. “If you’re frightened the first time your feet leave the ground, then this probably isn’t the sport for you,” he says with a wry smile. “I get the same thrill now as I did 20 years ago. It’s addictive, and it never wears off.” Staying up requires a sixth sense for that wind. “It’s like a game of chess. You use thermals to gain altitude. They’re like bubbles of warm air. They might form over a town, and then be moved by the wind. You can see them, if you know what you’re looking for. For example, you’ll often see birds circling in them, hunting for tiny insects that get carried up. And you can even smell them too, as they’ll hold and carry up the scent of the land below.” 62 THE JAGUAR

SITTING IN COMFORT IN THE CABIN OF THE XF SPORTBRAKE, WE LOOK OUT OVER BENONE STRAND AT THE NORTH ATLANTIC. The style, grace and dynamic performance of the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake (left) in many ways mirrors the skills displayed by Robert Finlay (right) as he skims across Benone Strand in his kite buggy. And then there’s riding that wind itself. “We call it ‘dynamic air.’ It’s what happens when the wind hits an obstacle like the cliffs behind Benone’s beach. They deflect the wind upward, and you can ride that to gain altitude, then fly slowly down before picking it up again. You can stay up all day like that. It’s a privilege to be up above that landscape with natural power and no noise.” We watch Phil for a while, sheltered from the breeze inside the XF Sportbrake and watching him when he flies directly over the extraordinary, full-length panoramic sunroof, which floods the car’s cabin with light. Then as conditions change, we head back down to the coast and to the beautiful, golden expanse of Benone Strand to rendezvous with Robert. He has been ‘parakarting’ on this beach for 21 years now, and is entirely self-taught. “I’ve been out here in rain, hail and snow, doing everything wrong but loving it and desperate to learn,” he says with infectious enthusiasm. This determination and dedication has resulted in him winning 12 consecutive Irish championships, and he even helped bring the European Kite Buggy Championships here to his beloved Benone. THE JAGUAR 63

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JAGUAR MAGAZINE celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from seductive design to cutting-edge technology.

The latest issue features a range of inspiring people: from Luke Jennings, creator of Villanelle, one of the most interesting television characters in recent times, to Marcus Du Sautoy, who ponders whether artificial intelligence is on the brink of becoming creative. Out on the road, we visit the US to explore the foodie heaven of Portland in a Jaguar I-PACE, take a Jaguar XE to the south of France to get a photographer’s viewpoint of the charming town of Arles, and much more.

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