While doing my now regular jaunt across the UK, I happened to spot an unexpected sight at Hopwood Park Services, off the M42 near Birmingham, and being a bit of a car geek, I couldn't resist getting out my phone camera to take some pictures.
One factory fresh Jaguar XF, seats still plastic wrapped and bearing trade plates, was parked up outside the main building. This is to be the replacement for the Marmite-styled S-Type, and it's somehow appropriate that I bumped into it for the first time not a million miles from the Castle Bromwich factory where it's being built.
It seems to be attracting similar comments to its big-eyed predecessor, and I can see why. Whether you like or loathe the S-Type, and I fall into the first category, it's difficult to criticise its road presence. While the XF is a pretty looking car, bearing a slight resemblance to a stretched Aston Martin from the back, I'm not convinced it looks quite as exclusive.
In fact, I think there's a slight whiff of, dare I say it, the new Ford Mondeo about it. From a style point of view, that's no bad thing, but will the Jaguar buyers go for it?
I think so. It still has that vast, imposing presence and what I could see of the interior looked suitably plush. Moving away from the typical curved Jag lines is a brave move, but I'm sure it's one that will grow on people.