An Inadvisable Spectacle

An Inadvisable Spectacle

Twinkly, not manly.

I was recently at Sytner’s BMW dealership in Nottingham. I was doing my usual thing of wandering around, daydreaming uselessly. Dealership staff must be used to people like me who stroll around. I try to take up as little of their time as possible in case a real prospect should come in. I’d hate someone to lose out on a sale because they’ve been talking to me.

BMW dealerships are strange places. New BMW saloons and estates are almost invariably a shade of grey or blue. It leads to a very cool atmosphere as you walk around. I like the BMW aesthetic even if its palette is somewhat restricted. I said in my last post that the 5-series in particular is graceful and restrained. It’s a fine thing to watch as it passes you on the road and God knows, there are enough of them around now.

As I was leaving the showroom, I looked over and among all the cool blue and grey BMWs there was a lone Jaguar XF. It wasn’t a red one but even so it was a striking sight. It’s a very beautiful object, an XF. It was parked nose-on to a wall, otherwise alone in a line of 3s and 5s. Sometimes, you’ll see an utterly gorgeous individual just going about their business and everyone else will seem just a little less attractive in comparison. I was once at a party and Helena Bonham-Carter was there, sitting under a tree in the garden, talking to a couple of her friends. It was that kind of party. She was in jeans and trainers, no big thing, but she still managed to look just a little brighter than anyone else there. That XF managed to pull off the same trick in a car park full of BMWs.

The new XF has been out for a few weeks now and I’ve begun to see it in some numbers. The lights are new and it’s the lights which bother me. They’re spoiling the car. They’re like those on the XJ and those on the concept which introduced the XF and that’s a good thing. What spoils the car is the LED running lights: they’re overwrought. BMW’s rings of light and Audi’s strips and bars both work well for them. The Jag’s hooky things just don’t. If you have one of these rather lovely cars, do me a huge favour and turn off the running lights. You’re making a spectacle of yourself.

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