2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Arizona and Back in a Day
May 14, 2015
I recently started taking long-term cars on one-day road trips for no particular reason. One morning it was our 2014 Mini Cooper for 600 round-trip miles to Bishop, California, then the Mini again to Laughlin, Nev., for another 600 miles.
This time my destination was the Arizona border, 500 miles away. I chose our 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.
As with previous road trips, I had little more planned than the turn-around point. Get to the Arizona border, touch the sign and head home. That was my agenda. Along the way, I formed some long-haul opinions of the driver seat and the seldom-used Eco mode, and exploited the Jag's true fuel-efficiency potential.
There is a seam down the center of the F-Type seat bottom. It turns out my body has a seam that runs down the center in about that same area. The two do not get along well. I found the seam rubbed my tailbone uncomfortably when wearing jeans but wasn't nearly as invasive with shorts. I made a point to wear shorts on this trip.
The F-Type seat is jeered on this blog for its lack of comfort. And sure, I noticed the low-hanging headrest, the aggressive side bolsters, the aforementioned seam and the general firmness of the seat when I first climbed into it. I can add a lack of legroom to the list. Not even pushing the seat all the way back gave me enough room unless I stretched both legs to the dead pedal side of the footwell.
But I'll tell you what. After a short time on the road, I settled in and forgot all about these complaints. Seat comfort was fine.
The first leg of this road trip was going to double as a fuel economy test. So as boring and counterintuitive as it felt, I turned off the sport exhaust and turned on Eco mode. Doing so quelled the intoxicating aria of the tailpipes and silenced the cabin. Jaguar's sound deadening efforts were evident as the F-Type cruised at a steady 70 mph and 1,500 rpm. Normally the engine note is entertainment enough. Without it, I had to find a good radio channel to save me from boredom.
A firm ride is normal here. It can be harsh across more significant bumps in the road, true, but it was hardly tooth-chattering along most stretches of State Routes 22, 91, 60 and Interstate 10. These Pirelli tires tend to follow expansion joints and ruts in the road, which I consider a knock against ride quality. Beyond that I had no issue.
Part of my goal was to see just how far the F-Type would travel on a single tank of fuel. I figured that ought to give me a pretty good chance of beating the established best range record of 297.8 miles and best single-tank fuel economy of 27.1 mpg.
I locked the cruise control at 70 mph and relaxed. After 408.2 miles, it was time to find a gas station. That was a podium topper. My 25.5 mpg was not enough to claim the best single-tank record, but did surpass the EPA highway estimate of 23 mpg.
Stay tuned for a photo recap of the trip.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 19,436 miles