I’ve long been of the opinion that some manufacturers use disguised prototypes as pre-launched marketing. Some of them clock up so much mileage at peak times on busy roads that it’s difficult to think anything else. We even had the disguised Range Rover Sport SVR make an appearance at the Festival of Speed.
So when a saloon is full swirl disguise cruised slowly past the entrance to the Nürburgring during the Oldtimer GP, the cynic in me thought it was another manufacturer trying to get us to notice its car before it goes on sale, especially as there was a website address emblazoned on both sides. I thought nothing more of it, but if I had I would have tapped in the website address on the side of the car and been invited to register my interest with Jaguar Germany about the forthcoming XE.
So it was a disguised Jaguar, right? Wrong. That’s what they want you to think…
The car later appeared on Jaguar’s stand in the paddock, complete with a brochure asking ‘How alive are you?’ Alive enough to know that we’re looking at a BMW 3-series was the answer! OK, the grille had been covered and there was no way anyone was going to see inside – but leaving the Hofmeister kink exposed to the world was the first massive giveaway.
Jaguar has a bit of a reputation for winding up its German rivals. To do so on BMW’s home turf is perhaps its cheekiest move yet. We approve!