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29 June 2017

Novak Djokovic may have more Grand Slams but I’m one-up when it comes to cars, says Andy Murray

PICTURE the scene. Wimbledon car park. Monday morning.

Rafa Nadal arrives first . . . in a sponsored Kia. Then Novak Djokovic . . .  in a Peugeot. Then Andy Murray . . . in a Jaguar.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray at the launch of the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Not known refer to copyright holder

All three congregate by Murray’s car.

Nadal: “Nice car, Andy.”

Djokovic: “Yeah, nice car mate.”

Murray: “Thanks, boys.”

(Awkward pause.)

Murray again: “You two OK? You look greener than a frog on Centre Court.”

Andy Murray
Andy Murray – two time Wimbledon champion – has signed a sponsorship deal with Jaguar
PA:Press Association

Clearly, none of that will ever happen. But even so, it really is “advantage, Murray” when it comes to car deals and everything you read from here on out is God’s honest.

I caught up with the big man filming an ad for the Jaguar XF Sportbrake at SW19.


So, Andy, you drive an F-Pace, right?

“Yes. I love it. It’s nice, comfy, quick. And obviously I need a decent boot for my kit. It’s perfect for me.”

Do you know what Djokovic drives?

“I know he has a Peugeot deal but I’m not sure which car he drives. I’ve got the upper hand there, I think.”

Novak Djokovic
Fellow tennis player Novak Djokovic has a deal with Peugeot
Action Images Via Reuters

Absolutely. World No1 and you’ve got a Jag, he’s got a Peugeot.

“He’s got a few more Grand Slams than me so I’m sure he’s fine. But yeah, I’m definitely winning in the car stakes just now.”

Your mum Judy has a Peugeot deal as well?

“She does, yeah.”

Make sure you tell him that in the locker room. Tell him: You drive the same car as my mum.

“Hopefully he drives it better than my mum! She’s not a good driver.”

Andy and Judy Murray
Andy’s mum Judy Murray also drives a Peugeot, although he jokes she’s not great behind the wheel
Getty Images

Have you seen the new Top Gear?

“Yep, I’ve watched quite a bit of it actually.”

The Grand Tour?

“No. I haven’t seen it yet. But I’ve watched Top Gear for years, I love it. Good show.”

Andy Murray reveals the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake ahead of Wimbledon with a little help from Anthony Joshua

What about Matt LeBlanc, settling in well?

“There’s certainly a different vibe now. It’s pretty different. But I like him. He seems like a nice guy, he obviously loves his cars and I think he’s getting better.

“It’s quite a difficult role to fill. I mean Top Gear is one of the biggest TV shows ever in the UK. So for him to come in and try something different is not easy, but I think he’s doing well.”

Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc
Andy is a big Top Gear fan, and says he watched and enjoyed all the episodes with Chris Evans and Matt Le Blanc

Much better than the first season with Chris Evans?

“I didn’t dislike the first season. It was just different.

“And I think a lot of time people don’t really like change that much. All the episodes I’ve watched, I’ve enjoyed.”

Your first car was a VW Polo, right?

“Yes.”

Have you still got it?

“Erm, yes. My friend here (sat opposite) drives it — but it’s still mine. He crashed it.”

Friend: “She crashed into me!” (Laughs.)

“He crashed it and blamed it on the lady ‘that crashed into him’. Even though the insurance completely disagrees.”

Andy Murray
The world number one's first car was a VW Polo

Oh, the insurance completely disagrees?

“Yeah, yeah. But he is still certain that he was right. But he wasn’t.”

Friend: “I know I didn’t do anything wrong.”

(More laughs.)

Tell us about your Ferrari 430

“I didn’t drive it much at all. I changed it for an Aston Martin DB9, which I liked a lot more.”

Andy Murray Ferrari
Andy then graduated to drive a Ferrari 430 – although he says he didn't take it out much
Tillen Dove

Because the Ferrari created too much attention?

“I never went in it because of that. So it was just on my drive.

“Whereas with the Aston, yes, it’s a beautiful car, but it was a bit more understated — and it wasn’t red.”

Andy Murray
These days Andy has swapped out the Ferrari for an Aston Martin DB9
�Tillen/Dove 07831 598018 07768

Then you won a BMW i8 in the Munich Open?

“I gave that to my dad. That was his wedding present last year. He’s driving that now.” Your dream car?

“Apart from a Jaguar?! That’s a tough question. The DB9. I loved driving that. I’d have one again.”

The DB11 is pretty special.

“I haven’t seen it. But I do like Aston Martins a lot.”

The tennis pro says he much prefers the Aston Martin DB9 – claiming it's 'more understated' than the Ferrari
Aston Martin

Bugatti Chiron?

“They’re like two million quid, aren’t they?”

You’ll get a deal . . .

“I saw it on Top Gear. They were saying the average customer has something like 11 cars and 15 and a half yachts or something ridiculous. I’m not at that level, unfortunately.”

A third Wimbledon title and you never know. Good luck, champ.

THE Jaguar XF Sportbrake starts at £34,910 for the 2-litre diesel returning up to 62mpg.

Want more balls please? Then try the 380hp 3-litre supercharged V6 petrol.
That has sports car performance — but with a 1,700-litre boot. And it can tow two tons.

Tick the box for 4WD and rain won’t stop play either.

Hotel vroom

APART from Wham! in 1984 maybe, nothing says “freedom” more than a VW camper.

The original “go where you please, when you please” adventure bus for hippies and surfers and still the true currency of coolness.

It all started with the T1 “Splittie” (Split Screen) in the 1950s and now we’re up to T6.

VW Californian Ocean
VW first began making its own California Ocean campers in 2005

But it wasn’t until 2005 that VW started making its own Californias – all previous campers were Transporters converted by other firms.

So, if you’re in the market for a used camper, 2005 is your starting point.

If you can afford a new one at £56,925, lucky you. You’re buying a peach.

VW Californian Ocean
The California costs a cool £56,925 but can easily double as an everyday driver

I’ll start with the basics. The California can easily double as a daily driver.

At just 4.9m, it is no longer than a Ford Mondeo and is equipped with all the bells and whistles: parking cameras, adaptive cruise control, VW’s silky- smooth seven-speed auto.

Now imagine pulling up at a campsite.

Pop up the automatic roof. Swivel the front seats around. Unclip the outdoor table from the sliding door.

VW Californian Ocean
Then on holiday, pop open the roof and the VW California becomes the coolest camper – sleeping four adults

Unzip the two picnic seats from the tailgate. Unwind the awning for a bit of shade. Open fridge. Drink beer. And relax. All in ten minutes.

Meanwhile, your brother-in-law, parked in the pitch next to you, is still unpacking his tent. Poor lad.

Other observations. The California sleeps four adults. The “roof bed” is wooden-slatted and mega-comfy. Genius touches – like the pop-out torch and 12V charger “upstairs” – are dotted throughout the cabin.

This is no lie. Absolutely everywhere I went, I got admiring glances.

Some even for the van.

  • VERDICT: The king of cool.

KEY FACTS

VW California Ocean

  • Price: £56,925
  • Engine: EU6 2-litre diesel turbo (204hp)
  • Economy: 43mpg
  • 0-62mph: 11 secs
  • Top speed: 121mph
  • Emissions: 169g/km

Disco king

CAR mags have a simple formula. Put a Land Rover on the front cover and sales go up. So they do it quite often.

But this week there is good reason because the Discovery has been named 2017 Car of the Year by Auto Express.

Auto Express
Out of 66 contenders, Auto Express named the Discovery Britain's best new car

Editor Steve Fowler said: “It’s an incredible car, bringing new levels of luxury, efficiency, technology and go-anywhere ability to the SUV class.

“It’s a great British success story.”

Good choice. I labelled the £44,000 Disco the “world’s best family SUV” when I drove it February.

  • For all 22 class winners, see this week’s Auto Express

AUTO EXPRESS 2017 WINNERS

  • Car of the Year: Land Rover Discovery
  • Best city car: VW up!
  • Best supermini:  Seat Ibiza
  • Best family car: VW Golf
  • Best hot hatch: Honda Civic Type R
  • Best estate: Skoda Octavia
  • Best mid-size SUV:  Peugeot 3008
  • Best convertible: Mercedes C-Class
  • Best pick-up:  Mitsubishi L200
  • Best van: VW Crafter

Braking news

  • MMMMM. Mmmmm. BMW has a new X3 coming in November – including the M40i, the first M performance model.
  • THINK loud, think fast, think cool, think Aston. Hang on, scrap loud. Aston Martin is building an all-electric RapidE with Williams. Out 2019.
  • WREXHAM has the “nicest” drivers, says a poll, followed by Coventry and Chelmsford. But don’t expect a “thank you” wave in Brighton. Stay calm, people.
  • ISUZU has signed a four-year shirt sponsorship deal with the Welsh Rugby Union.

TAKE TO VIRTUAL DRIVING SEAT

TO get results in motorsport you need to be fearless.

You need to push flat out when your head says No.

Go for the gap that’s slightly too small. Embrace danger. And you need to ignore people banging on the toilet door.

You’re busy. You’re playing Race Kings, the brilliant new drift racing game free to play from the App Store and Google Play.

Warning: It’s very addictive.

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