2012 Jaguar XF: Driving with Idiots
August 20, 2012
Let's say you're driving a friend home. Let's also say he's had a few beers. Let's also say this is the same friend, who in high school, thought it was funny to randomly turn on your hazards to get a rise out of the kid who took driving really seriously.
Now, let's also say you've just climbed into a Jaguar XF and point out the neat bit of automotive theatre that commences when you climb in: The pulsing starter button, the rotating air vents and the rising shift knob. Let's say he wasn't all that impressed, but did think the shifter was cool.
As you drove along, he starts to run his fingers on it as people are apt to do since it's so nicely detailed. He then starts making laser-firing noises for some reason, more because he's a nerd than because of the beers. He then shifts you into neutral ...
In the middle of an intersection while driving around a left-turning car on a two-lane road. The engine revs, you yell "That's the shifter you idiot!" and twist the car back into drive.
"I thought it did something with the radio," he says, obviously confusing the shifter for iDrive and finding his mistake just as funny as turning on the hazards.
This is entirely hypothetical, of course, and in no way did this happen beat by beat Saturday night. And I don't think it speaks to a problem with the rotary shifter at all. Sure, if I was a California elected official or Ray LaHood, I'd probably demand that a huge yellow sticker be placed next to it in order to fend off idiots, then translate it into Spanish to defend against Spanish-speaking idiots as well. But I'm not, so idiots will just need to sit in the back seat or know that their hands are bound to be right smacked.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor