The trouble is that second gear in a lot of cars these days can take you to beyond the motorway speed limit.
Chuckles Jeremy Clarkson.
there’s a new 3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel that you can specify for your XF.
(No, me neither.)
Let me put the figures on it for you. In the top-spec S model I tried, you get 275 horsepowers and an astonishing 442 torques, which means you can get from 0 to 60 in around 6sec and onwards to a top speed of 155.
These are the figures you might expect from a petrol car. But now look at the ones you wouldn’t — a mere 179 carbon dioxides and the promise of 40 or so mpg. It really is a case of: here’s your cake. Now tuck in.
Jeremy sees another advantage in automatic transmission:
I like to kid myself these days that I prefer an auto because I’m busy and having something change gear on my behalf allows me to do other things while driving. Speaking on the telephone, for instance, is almost impossible if you have to steer and shift cogs as well, especially now you need to keep at least one eye out for the Stasi.
Stasi? Clarkson was photographed talking on a handheld mobile while doing 70 mph on a motorway. There were two witnesses. But the Stasi decided to take no action. Not in the public interest, I suppose.
In 2007 the celebrity lawyer Nick 'Mr. Loophole' Freeman, got a charge against Clarkson of driving at 86mph in a 50mph zone on the A40 road in London dropped, on the basis that the driver of the car loaned to Clarkson from Alfa Romeo could not be ascertained.
Jeremy Clarkson, who seems never to have been convicted of a single driving offence, continues to boast of his lawlessness:
I conducted a little experiment on the M40 this morning by driving along at precisely 85. And do you know what? I was the slowest car on the road. If they ban people for doing 85 or more, they will have to ban everyone.
A self-confessed criminal who is repeatedly guilty of criminal conspiracy attracts no attention at all from the law. A bit like Captain Gatso, then.
(Below) gorgeous Jeremy Clarkson