Jaguar hasn't really put a foot wrong on the PR front for quite a while. The XJ launch-although we took the Michel-was a very cleverly run campaign, and Jaguar are always responsive to requests (unless you want official gen on possible future models!). But Jaguar's PR guys in the US do seem to have dropped a bit of clanger over the CTS-V Challenge issued by Bob Lutz.
Lutz is 'Mr GM' in the US. A veteran of the industry and a man who not only doesn't suffer fools glady but is very willing to say so. A breath of fresh air some, a pain in the arse for others. Lutz laid down a challenge recently for car journos to take on the Cadillac CTS-V over 5 laps at Monticello Motor Club race track in New York tomorrow (29th October). Bring on whatever you want and we'll see who wins, he challenged.
Out of the gate came Jalopnik, seemingly with the backing of Jaguar, who were willing to supply the Jaguar XFR for the challenge. Hats off to Jag we though, especially as Mercedes Audi, Porsce, BMW et al bottled the challenge. But now so has Jaguar.
Stuart Schorr, Jaguar's US guy, said:
"...I was concerned that five hot laps without added brake cooling system could compromise the stopping power and thus create a safety concern for your driver. The car can handle it. The CTS-V is probably the fastest car of the class on the track, whether it's the best car of its class is a different matter."
Which is a perfectly valid point. There's no doubt that the wily Mr Lutz wouldn't have opened his mouth and made the challenge unless he was pretty certain he could win. It seems clear that the CTS-V- all 556bhp V8-ness of it-will handle the track conditions better than just about anything else likely so step up to the mark.
But the daftness here is accepting the challenge in the first place. The XFR is a far more desirable car than the CTS-V. Unless you want to do 5 mad laps round the track.