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Now Jaguar has done the same with "footballer's car." While this has been generally seen as the UK equivalent of a "rapper's car," generally a big four-wheel-drive such as a Range Rover, blinged up so as to make it unusable off-road, Jaguar has taken the curious step of deliberately putting a footballer in the new F-Pace.
Before you can even buy a Jaguar F-Pace, the company has taken ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid manager José Mourinho to Northern Sweden to drive a prototype on ice.
And there is not an ounce of bling about the event. It was run on 60 km (37 miles) of frozen lake at Jaguar Land Rover's extreme testing facility in Arjeplog, Sweden, which is 40 miles from the Arctic Circle. And it's not just JLR engineers who get to do this. Jaguar sells the "Jaguar Ice Drive Experience," while Porsche has something similar and if you really want to go for it there is a company that does it in Porsches, Maseratis, and the wonderful Alfa 4C.
But those are not footballers' cars. Jag quotes Mourinho as saying, "The experience was magnificent. For people in my world, I think a few days in a place like this is magnificent." However even if you read it in a Spanish accent it still sounds like it was written by a PR man. Ditto the quote "I am always learning. Even in football, which is an area that obviously I feel that I'm an expert, I'm never perfect and I always learn."
What Jaguar gets out of the association is some quotes about Mourinho's plans – he's going to stay in the UK – which means the major UK papers might pick it up. They probably will and then ignore all the cool ice driving stuff.
What we get as car nuts is some awesome footage of the car power-sliding with rooster tails of snow. It's a good looking car; I've seen some testing on the roads around Jaguar's home of Coventry and did a double take. It's a little Macan-like but better looking. I've driven the F-Type with both the 375-HP V6 used in the Mourinho F-Pace piece and the 550-hp supercharged V8, and the V6 is plenty. Until you drive the V8, which blows your mind way. Indeed I have the letter on my desk pleading guilty to the fixed penalty (62 in a 50) that I picked up in the F-Type.
What you can't tell from the video is how good the V6 sounds. How it does a nice little wake-the-neighbours blip when you switch it on.
Jaguar has it wrong. Footballers are not a persecuted minority. But then the F-Pace isn't a footballer's car. It's too good for that.