Watch: The unorthodox unveil of the 2016 Jaguar XF

Watch: The unorthodox unveil of the 2016 Jaguar XF

High stakes

Text: Denise Kok

Image: Jaguar

No ordinary test drive

The folks at Jaguar have given new meaning to the old adage "go big or go home". The great unveil of the 2016 Jaguar XF saw the car being driven across two 34mm-diameter wires suspended over the River Thames. It sounds like a college prank carried over into the boardroom by an overzealous PR team — but it was breathtaking and certainly drove home the point that the new ride, with its 75 per cent aluminium construct, is indeed lighter and more fuel efficient than the outgoing XF. The rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models are now 132 pounds and 256 pounds lighter, respectively, than its predecessors.

Why anyone would agree to maneuver a vehicle across two painfully thin wires is beyond us. But Jim Dowdall, a veteran stuntman (we'll crown him the Bear Grylls of the motoring world), rose up to the challenge. We imagine the experience he gleaned from working on set at the Bond and Bourne movies has put him in good stead to walk this tightrope. 

The stunt has apparently broken a world record — but we wouldn't recommend trying this at home.