2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip: Hottest Place on Earth
September 18, 2012
Quick: What do you think of when you think of Alaska?
Bears? Russia? Seaplanes? Snow? Mountains?
All good options. If you thought "Death Valley!" then, well, sorry to break the news to you, but you may just fit in with us. Death Valley, and Badwater in particular, is the polar opposite of Alaska. Alaska is lush and verdant with abundant springs and glacial lakes. Alaska is the home of Mount McKinley (or Denali if you're into that kind of naming convention) which is the highest mountain the the U.S. Prospect Creek, Alaska is also the home of the lowest-ever temperature in the U.S at -79.8 F.
Death Valley, on the other hand, is home to the highest temperature ever recorded on the planet (take that, Libya!), 134 degrees. Badwater Basin is also, at 282 feet below sea level, the lowest point in the U.S.
This was also our last chance to have some fun with the Jag as the roads getting into/out of Death Valley are a BLAST.
As you'd expect of a brand-new car in 2012, the Jag had no problem with the 118-degree heat or the way we were treating it on the curvy roads. The tires stuck, the motor pulled and the automatic transmission was responsive enough to keep us entertained.
Getting these shots added about 4 hours to the drive and some 270 miles. It also provided the worst fuel economy of our trip.
Driving from LA to Alaska is pretty cool, but driving from Death Valley to Alaska just has a certain ring about it.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor