A few years back, when my moustache was nothing more than scattered, wispy whiskers and my voice, or indeed my temperate, was yet to break, seated in a school bus, bored out of my skull; rebellious and cranky like Holden in the Catcher of the Rye, I looked out the window and saw my first Jaguar. The car, that is, not the musician. We were stuck in traffic, it was right around the time Thika Road was being built, when travelling was a bloated, haphazard affair and a little Mandarin had already sipped into Githu. The heat and stuffiness inside the bus was maddening. It has never slipped into anyone’s mind to have air conditioning on  public transport, never mind that we are seated right on the equator. I remember just staring out the window subconsciously, looking for distractions from the suffocating heat of the immobile bus when I caught sight of it. A grey sports Sedan, silver rims, jet black tires hugging the road, vanishing in the darkness of the tar like they were conjoined with its menacing signature front grille glinting in the sun like a snarling cat. It sat there idly, owning the road, standing out in the midst of the madness around it like just that one honest politician. Other drivers, even the matatu ones did not try to overlap. It lay on its lane comfortable in its own presence. I looked at it for long, and for one moment, just the one, I did not give a damn about the air conditioning.

My schoolmates noticed soon enough and my spell was broken by the excited chatter that broke out. Everyone came to the window and began pointing, while the owner just sat oblivious of all the attention with one arm on the window and the other laying firmly on the wheel. There was a yellow bird riding shotgun, silver hair, the exact same shade as the car rims flowing all over her shoulder. She was absent-mindedly toying with the stick; a sleek, short stump as she moved her head to the beat. She looked divine. Only a Jaguar could have distracted our horny minds from her brown thighs. It dwarfed her beauty so that it seemed natural that only a lady as gorgeous as her could be ferried around in a car as magnificent as a jag. It made perfect sense. While peeps speculated on its price, I remained silent. Even back then, I knew that such a work of art was indeed priceless, that its true value lay in the time put in and its ability to impose a sense of tranquility to a confused adolescent just for that one moment in its sleek magnificence.

Ever since then, I fell in love with Jags.

That’s why I was hanging out at the RMA headquarters at Westie eagerly waiting for the unveiling of the first Jaguar SUV in this chilly July weather. Jaguar has been late to the table as other luxury car makers like Porshe and Mercedes delved into the SUV market some time back so I was excited to see what their first model would look like. While we were waiting, I struck up a conversation with a female dreadlocked influencer who hang by herself with the usual, Nice locks, how long you’ve had them for? And the conversation took off. I learnt ages ago that one has to be cautious when dealing with a dame in dreads. They don’t take bullshit lying down. Matter of fact, they don’t take any bullshit at all. They will call your bluffs even before you’ve had time to think it through. But it seemed worth the risk because if there is a woman who knows her ride, and liquor I suppose, it will be the one in locks. Turned out she’s a Land Rover enthusiast which I was initially okay with. I mean, I don’t mind Rovers plus they are cousins to the Jags but then she went on a rant I’ve heard too many times before from people who swear by specific models. And as she went on and on I began countering, against my better judgment. The only thing you can be sure of when you get into an argument with a woman, not to mention a dreadlocked one, is that you are not going to win it.  

Rovers are powerful. Jaguars are just about looks and impressions.

What do you mean, powerful? Are you referring to horsepower or something you just feel because instinct won’t count here, you know.

Why, because it’s female instinct?

Only a dame in dreads can turn around a conversation about cars into a feminist argument.

No, because I need facts.

I just gave you one. Rovers are powerful, Jaguars are classier.

But that’s a statement.

Yeah, a statement of facts.

You know what, this is a pointless argument. It’s like asking an Arsenal fan which club he thinks is best. Or a CORD guy on who he thinks is the best leader. Or…

Or asking an ass guy to choose between Vera and Huddah, eh?

I kept silent at that. Coming from a dame in dreads, whose instinct defy gender, the question had trap written all over it. One that I thankfully sailed right over when the F Pace was unveiled, in blue and red, accompanied by African and Indian drum beats, to pay homage to the Jaguar’s ancestry I reckon.

With its imposing front and muscular rear, the F Pace apes the F Type visually- its pronounced rear haunches and bulging hood making for a dominant road presence while its mechanics stem almost directly from Jaguar’s Sports Sedans and sports cars especially the XE and XF type, making it a unique combination of a performance SUV and a sports car- in other words, a masterpiece. The exterior designed to please and for dynamics while the interior is designed for comfort. With an impressive 33.5 cubic feet of cargo pace, the F Pace certainly does not make concessions for space and could house five passengers comfortably even with the seat adjusted. The leather seats, coupled with the optical panoramic glass roof as well as the advanced Jaguar InControl System ensures that a ride on the F Pace is as smooth as its rubberized surface while keeping you in touch with the outside world. It comes with an economical 180hp 2 litre and 3 litre diesel engines as well as a 380hp 3.0L supercharged V6 for that extra edgy driving and while an estimated 7.8 seconds zero-to-hundred time is not exactly flattering, do not be fooled into thinking the car lacks for speed, or power.

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With its athletic good looks and dynamic driving character, the F Pace blends prestige, handling and luxury to make it the best luxury compact SUV yet, makes the new cat on the prowl a sexy and energetic car to cruise around in.

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Writer. Literature Student at University of Nairobi. Dark like the sweetest berries.

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