Jaguar has entered a new S-Type 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged diesel saloon into this year’s Cape-to-Cape Challenge.
The event starts at Europe’s northernmost point, Nordkapp in Norway, and continues for two-and-a-half days to Cape Tarifa, Spain (the southernmost tip of Europe).
Paul Walker, S-Type Chief Programme Engineer explains: “We are convinced of the overall dependability of our models, but the Cape-to-Cape exercise will place peculiar stresses on both the S-Type 2.7D and its driving team.”
Last year’s winner of the annual durability trek, journalist Iain Robertson, was looking forward to the challenge: “Having driven the new Jaguar S-TYPE on its recent launch exercise, I am convinced that it will provide the necessary comfort, refinement and strength to establish a new time record for the 3,550-miles, non-stop driving exercise.”
The Cape-to-Cape Challenge is not a speed event. Robertson explains: “We travelled the distance in 58 hours and 39 minutes in 2003, thus setting a new record time. Taking into account a blanket 130km/h maximum speed limit levied by the event organisers, the Challenge adheres rigidly to the national speed restrictions in place travelling from Norway, via Finland, Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg and France to Spain.”
Any flouting of speed limits plays against the competitors. Each entrant’s vehicle has a tamperproof data-logging device fitted, which sends a regular flow of information directly to the organisers’ office. Even strategic attempts to exceed national restrictions result in time penalties of three-times any potential gain.
The Jaguar S-Type team consists of Iain Robertson, Diana Philo (a 66 year old grandmother of six and public sector magazine editor) and Peter Mason (20 year old law student). With three drivers for the entry, the Challenge can be completed non-stop, without making the compulsory overnight halts demanded for two-person or solo entrants. In fact, the only stops will be for fuel, at which time any comfort breaks will also be taken.
Robertson continues: “Expecting to achieve around 40mpg from Jaguar’s outstanding new diesel engine, I anticipate that we shall be stopping briefly every 500 miles to refuel and take comfort breaks, which will provide an intense test of human durability for each of the team members.”
The Cape-to-Cape Challenge commenced Friday (25/6/2004) from Nordkapp, finishing in Spain on Sunday afternoon.