A friend of mine calls me in the morning while I’m in an Uber rushing to the airport at 4:45 because my flight is 5:45, I think I still have time but I forget that this is not a local flight, instead I’m flying to Botswana… Suddenly I remember Phonte’s line; “Missed the plane on purpose, trying to act stranded” but the difference is that I’m not acting up. I call my cousin to buy me a flight ticket because I’m expecting some money later that afternoon so I’ll pay him back in no time. Lesson learnt is that you need to alert your bank when you go a foreign country. They will freeze your account, specially when you are not home and money is being deposited into your account.
All sorted, I am hanging in the slow lounge and ordered an omelet but somehow not eating it because Marvin’s Room was lit last night. I keep on passing out, waking up and relaxing with the thought that I am finally living my dreams. I’m speaking in a foreign country about my life story and brand that we passionately started. I am told people will be coming from far to hear me speak. I wonder what my mother would say about this since her people are from Botswana.
Thinking back, a year ago this would not be possible. A year ago I lost everything. A year ago I lost my parents and when I say parents I mean all of them – both my mother and grandmothers. The talk was well received and I came back home the Sunday, exhausted but feeling great and inspired.
Friday morning, I am back at the airport again, well on time and on my way to Port Elizabeth. I am here to test drive the all new Jaguar F-Pace, its Jaguar’s first SUV that they’ve ever built, oh by the way, this is first time I’m reviewing a car of this magnitude. We get the hotel and are briefed on what’s going to happen. I immediately choose Eddie, the motoring editor for Destiny and Destiny Man magazines as my driving partner. She is cool, so that helped me get acquainted with things and industry people. With work emails as priority, Eddie gladly allowed me to drive first as she met her deadlines.
My first impression is that the new F-Pace is as sexy as the F-Type or can be regarded as the older brother to the F-Type. I love cars and Jaguar has never been in my radar because I’m a designer therefore looks count more than anything else, really. There was a time when Jaguar was stuck in an era while everyone else moved into the future. I saw the future when I saw the F-Type, I knew there was something about the F-Type that they got right when google told me that Matthew Beavan and Ian Callum designed the F-Type. Truth be told the F-Type is hella sexy and it’s as solid when it you get that gravel road and long road where you can open it up and have it roar.
It’s the Marvin kinda car, the kinda car that not everyone will have, and those who have it will get the same respect on the road to the likes of those with the Porsche Cayenne, X6 and GLE and it can look badass too because there is the V6 that moves when it needs to. Sadly, I was not impressed with the in-car sound because it couldn’t handle the bass on most of Rick Ross’ tracks. What I realized on this trip is that I was a terrible driver, I was too careful, well I was too careful in the beginning and then Eddie illustrated why the car is called a Jaguar and allowed me to settle into it.
En route, there was a trail that we took that was part gravel and part road, Eddie took over when the road was straight and curvy and she made sure to make me understand why we were here, – we were here to drive and not be careful.
From the first look, the F-Type is the kind of car you’d undermine – performance wise – but it has the power of surprise and with it being unknown to the streets makes it the perfect underdog. You know what they say about underdogs “a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.” and we could relate to that as Marvin, not everyone thinks that we will make it even though we are making powerful moves, we pay attention to detail and we care about design and content. The only two things that I didn’t like about this was car was the navigation system and the sound system in the V6. Boot space, and space in the rear seats was good enough and the one thing that impressed me was the Activity Key, which is a wrist band which you can use to lock your car with, while you go running or attend to some activity.
I was impressed with the technology in the car, one can have access to the internet via the car, the navigation system was simple enough to understand. One can open the boot with just a kick on the left or right side of the bottom boot. I love comfort and luxury and I might just be the first one to say that this is a very luxurious SUV that works out for a Marvin kinda guy that just started a family.
Jaguar has three engine options for the F-PACE, kicking off with a 2.0-litre diesel “20d” with 132KW of power from R776 800, followed by a 221KW 3.0-liter diesel at R1 218 100 finishing off with a 3.0 supercharged V6 petrol in either 250KW or 280KW “S” forms, from R982 700 and R1 191 1000 respectively. The turbodiesel and V6 versions come in normal, Premium, Prestige, or R-Sport form. I had the opportunity to test both petrol engines, both of which come with all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard.
The Jaguar F-Pace retails from a recommended R778 966
Writer & Photography: George Gladwin Matsheke