Event TV: Jaguar unveils XF with high-wire crossing

Jaguar revealed its latest XF model yesterday (24 March) with a high-wire stunt drive across London.

Jim Dowdall guided the car across Canary Wharf
Jim Dowdall guided the car across Canary Wharf

Jim Dowdall, a Hollywood stuntman who has worked on franchises such as James Bond and Indiana Jones, drove the car a distance of 240 metres, while being suspended 18 metres above the water in Canary Wharf. The XF was supported by two 34mm carbon wires.

Dowdall was rigged up to abseil equipment and both a cherry-picker and safety speedboat were on-hand as safety precautions. Meteorological experts and structural engineers were on hand to determine the precise drive conditions.

The stunt took three minutes to complete and was streamed live online. It was designed to showcase the new car’s lightweight credentials and agility.

Fiona Pargeter, global PR communications director for Jaguar Land Rover, said: "Canary Wharf's commuters stood still this morning when they saw what the XF was doing; it was lovely to bring a smile to their faces on their way to work. It seemed like the rush hour hustle stopped for a few minutes as the XF made its graceful journey above the water." 

Dowdall added: "Over my 35 years in the industry I've driven Jaguars on many Hollywood movie sets. However the biggest test for me on this stunt was the unpredictability of the elements. 

"Potential oscillation in the high-wires from wind speeds meant it added a real challenge. The wires are only 34mm in diameter so the journey required absolute precision, balance and control.

Event's associate editor Alison Ledger named the Jaguar XE launch as her favourite activation of 2014.

More: Jaguar to create experiences with Emeli Sandé and Stella McCartney

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