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Four countries 72 HOURS,

Four countries 72 HOURS, 752 MILES, WITH SOME FULL-THROTTLE DETOURS THIS IS A ROAD TRIP WITH A DIFFERENCE To see Idris‘ thrilling road trip in the new XE, watch the film series at probably a reassurance for the Jaguar engineers who’ve let their prized XE out of their Gaydon testing facility prior to its commercial launch in May. So, does he have much experience on a race track? “No, not really. But as someone said to me, ‘drive it like you stole it!’” Note to Jaguar HQ: he was joking. I think. Either way, Elba doesn’t hang about. Having left London just after lunchtime, we’re over the Channel and into France by the early evening. He makes steady progress as we cross into Belgium, burning up the 212 miles from Calais to tonight’s destination. Things slow, though, as the snow thickens once we reach the Ardennes forest. By the time we pull into the first overnight stopover on the trip, a hotel situated right on the Spa race track, it’s very definitely time for a drink. SMOOTH OPERATOR After the exhilaration of the racetrack of the previous day in Belgium, Elba settles down to cruising on the autobahn in Germany to appreciate the XE’s easy gearshift and comfortable driving position The next day we make the short drive to the Spa starting grid, and Elba is thrilled at the prospect of the day’s activities. The actor has cars in his blood. His late father was a shop steward at Ford, and young Idris had followed him onto the assembly line in Dagenham. But it wasn’t long before he’d quit and headed for New York to try and make it as an actor. Did working at the plant increase his enthusiasm for his cars – or kill it? “Ah, no, it increased it and also my curiosity about cars and how they’re made,” he recalls. “What makes a good car and a bad car. When you watch a car being manufactured, it’s only then you can fully appreciate what this is,” he says, slapping the XE’s steering wheel. “You get into it as a consumer and it’s great, it’s really comfortable, it does what it’s supposed to do. But the fact that 20 different teams have put this together, like a jigsaw,” he marvels. “It’s a really incredible feat of engineering.” This afternoon that incredible engineering is put through its paces. A two-lap lesson from Brundle under his belt, Elba tears the XE round the quick, rain-slick track, hitting 130mph on the straights. He bounds in from the cold, clearly buzzing. “I’d love a JD and Coke right now,” 52 j THE DYNAMIC ISSUE

ROAD TRIP MUSIC TO HIS EARS After three days of driving from London, Elba turns his attention to getting the party started with a house-heavy DJ set in Berlin he exhales. But no, a hot peppermint tea with honey will have to suffice. There’s another 213 miles to do this evening and the next day an even heftier drive through Germany with 270 miles more to eat up. There won’t be much rest time. We pull in for a quick lunch at a McDonald’s McCafé, then press on. How’s the drive been so far? “Yeah, good, man,” Elba nods. “It’s really comfortable, an easy ride. Good driving position. This one’s got a diesel engine with steady acceleration and drives really nicely.” As we rev out of the slip road back on to the autobahn, a refuelled Elba is, again, buzzing. “We can’t go on together, with suspicious minds…” he sings as we launch into the last 25-mile stretch into Berlin. Presumably Elvis won’t be figuring in his DJ set tonight. But how’s the playlist looking? “I’ve done some of it, but we got back so late from Spa last night, I was just too tired to finish. I’ve probably got my hour – but I’m very careful when I do my sets. I go through every song and every mix possibility. There’s one song I can’t wait to play: it’s David Guetta’s Dangerous, but it’s a remix by Kevin Saunderson that I love. It’s proper boom boom boom boom – house music. Germany loves a good house set.” By 10pm that night, Idris Elba has swapped one set of wheels for another. At the German launch party for the XE, held in the smartly converted industrial space of Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz, he mans the DJ decks with grinning, energetic aplomb. He bounces along to his party set, relishing the chance to cut loose after three days’ driving. The audience of specially invited friends-of-Jaguar show their appreciation by filling the kinetic dance floor: a touch-sensitive, light platform that is powered by the rhythmic thump of feet. Like the future-facing car that brought him here, it’s an energyconserving wonder. All of which, after all those miles in the hot seat, begs the question: courtesy of his documentary projects, we already knew about the A-list actor’s addiction to speed. But has he emerged from his road trip with an addiction to fuel economy? (He managed 65mpg overall for the record). Elba smiles: “Well, I am actually more and more conscious about that. That was one of the big appeals about coming to work with Jaguar on this car. Because the idea is that it’s very, very fuel-efficient and environmentfriendly. Because we do absolutely waste [fuel]. I’ve spent a lot of time in Africa, where getting about is difficult, let alone with wasting fuel. So it’s great that car manufacturers are being very conscious about that. We’re trying to get further and further in life, but we want to do it on less fuel. Which is better for all of us.” And if at the same time we can have a classy ride in the company of a classy bloke, then all the better. THE DYNAMIC ISSUE j 53

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Jaguar Magazine celebrates creativity in all its forms, with exclusive features that inspire sensory excitement, from beautiful design to cutting-edge technology.

In this issue, we explore the art of creativity from the Brazilian masters who devised the graceful art of Capoeira, to the Irish artists mixing new culture with old. You will also discover the creative line that links Victorian wallpaper to the iPhone. While the multi-talented actor and performer, Riz Ahmed, explains why it is the right time to reveal his true self to the world.


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The fuel consumption figures provided are as a result of official manufacturer's tests in accordance with EU legislation.
A vehicle's actual fuel consumption may differ from that achieved in such tests and these figures are for comparative purposes only.