By Ken Hegan for MSN Travel
A publicist loaned me a new Jaguar XJ-L for the week. Have you seen this beast? Picture a luxury sedan that’s as rich and white as Mr. Romney’s real hair colour under the varnish.
They said I could drive its cream leather seats anywhere I wanted: Alberta, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Vancouver Island, wherever. My dad had always wanted to (but never did) drive a fancy Jaguar sedan. So I grabbed the keys, sprinted to the Jag, and sped off FAST, in case the car’s real real owner showed up.
Compared to my MINI, the Jaguar XJ-L is HUUUGE. This 4-door rides so big and smooth, it feels like you’re steering a boat sitting on a boat trailer behind a half-ton pickup parked with its engine off on a level mall lot on a clear, calm day. In other words: sturdy.
I raced it all over Vancouver. I visited UBC’s beautiful Rose Garden to marvel at the fall colours in the cheeks of the stressed-out, red-faced law students. I valet parked at the deluxe Loden Hotel for a wicked night of boutique debauchery (more on that to come). And I rolled through Vancouver’s wealthy, leafy Shaughnessy neighbourhood, where each night the city’s Jaguars, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces glide home to rest on gated, semi-circular driveways.
This is what I learned:
The Jaguar is such an upscale ride, you’ll want to roll down the window, throw chocolate coins at hobos, and shout “Don’t you know how rich I am?”
Let’s say you’re driving your six-speed shiftable automatic Jaguar to the exclusive Capilano Golf and Country Club in West Vancouver.
It’s one of the finest golf courses in Canada (ranked fifth-best in the country by both Score Magazine and Golf Digest). To pay them your $80,000 membership fee, you’re driving over to hand them a sack of money with ‘$’ painted on the side.
But suddenly you skid through a turn, bounce onto the fairway, and run over a caddy who’s walking through the autumnal fog. No problem. According to the car’s website, not only does the XJ-L weigh 4,323 pounds for maximum ramming power…it also gives you “luxurious and thrilling” performance with a “Supercharged” 5-liter V8 engine and top speed of 250 km/h.
You’ll be scot-free in no time, and watching your chauffeur wash the caddy’s red hair out of your grill.
#4) Host your AGM in the backseat
Vancouver’s new convention centre is a “green-designed” work of art.
It’s a state-of-the-art facility on the waterfront with “world-class production capabilities, spectacular views and five-star cuisine.” It has 466,500 square feet spread over meeting rooms, ballrooms, halls, and theatres to fit thousands of your shareholders.
But why book an auditorium, when the Jaguar XJ-L’s backseat is so spacious? You can fit a jacuzzi with a wet bar, all your shareholders and chiefs of staff, two East Van rent boys, their golf clubs, a Starbucks, a walk-in closet with its own Starbucks, and a bouncy castle for the kids.
#3) Keeps your marriage strong
After a long day at the office, this car will help you escape from your grabby, handsy assistant. Instead of letting her/him rub your neck and destroy your marriage, take a solo drive to Stanley Park.
Park and gaze at the snow-capped North Shore mountains and the glittering lights on the Lions Gate Bridge. Then tilt your lumbar-supporting bucket seat back, dial up the seat heat, and press the massage switch.
Ah, there’s the rub — and no need for an affair. This back-massage feature will save you a fortune in divorce lawyers and alimony.
#2) Keeps your family close
Imagine your daughter gets kidnapped by a cult. They’re holding her hostage and hiding her amidst 500 exotic plants and flowers inside the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.
You’re a man of action like Michael Douglas in the film Traffic. So instead of calling the police, you rescue your daughter yourself. You and your men sneak inside the conservatory’s triodetic dome, catch the cult members by surprise, grab your daughter, and hurry her to your waiting Jaguar XJ-L.
You safely ferry her to your remote beachfront mansion in Deep Cove so she can sweat the drugs out by kayaking and meditating on the beach.
But if she tries to escape Deep Cove by hotwiring your car, no worries. The Jaguar XJ-L comes with an ‘engine immobilizer.’ So unless she’s got your remote control key fob, your daughter’s not going anywhere.
And the #1 way rich guys can use a Jaguar is:
#1) There’s no place like home
On the dashboard controls, there’s an emergency button that reads ‘TAKE ME HOME’ (I’m not making this up).
So if you get lost in a ‘bad’ neighbourhood and you’re scared that thugs will jack your car, have no fear. Simply press the TAKE ME HOME button and the built-in GPS navigation system will map out the fastest route home.
It’s like closing your eyes, clicking your ruby slippers, and whispering ‘There’s no place like home’. Your nightmare will end, and soon you’ll be home safe by your fireplace with a rare brandy in your manicured hand. Whew!
Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below.
— Ken Hegan
Read all Ken’s stories here
The 2012 Jaguar XJ-L was part of Jaguar’s media fleet based in Vancouver, BC
Photos by Capilano Golf and Country Club, Vancouver Convention Centre (Facebook), and Jaguar
Thanks to Samantha Stanway