2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Cambria Road Trip, Part 2
February 11, 2015
After a fantastic breakfast at Jeannine's in Montecito, we continued up the 101 North on our road trip to Cambria in the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe. We took the shortcut across Route 154, which zigs and zags over the Santa Ynez Mountains. Not only is it shorter than staying with the herd on the 101, but as a former east-coaster I find it comforting to see some trees every now and then.
The powerful F-Type took to the elevation gain on this road with absolute ease, passing slower traffic like they were standing still. Seriously, sometimes drivers on these slightly curvy roads seem like they're standing still.
After rejoining the 101, we eventually picked up PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) in San Luis Obispo. From there it was a nice coastal drive up to the quiet seaside town of Cambria, staying in one of the many hotels along Moonstone Beach Drive.
On Sunday we headed a few miles further north to check out the huge population of Elephant Seals lazing around on the beach at Piedras Blancas, then backtracked south a bit to visit Hearst Castle. I hadn't been to William Randolph Hearst's "ranch" (as he referred to it) in many years, and I forgot just how gigantic and over-the-top it is. If you're ever in the area, you owe it to yourself to take a tour. It's incredibly cool.
After some Hearst burgers, it was back on the road and a straight shot south to the greater L.A. area. While this was only a 593-mile round trip, it still gave me a good taste of the F-Type's abilities as a tourer. Verdict?
It's fine. Yes, the ride is on the stiff side, as you'd expect of a serious sports car. I like the lateral support from the seat bolsters, but I still say these seats do not need to be as uncompromisingly hard as they are. And those wide tires give off a fair bit of noise on coarse surfaces, requiring a turn of the stereo volume knob, or louder talking.
None of this matters much to me, because the Jag's fun-to-drive characteristics make up for the comfort shortcomings. Would I shy away from an even longer road trip in the Jag F-Type? Heck no, especially if it encompassed more in the way of good driving roads.
What did my friend think? No whining whatsoever, she thought the car was great. Hmmm...easy to please...a rare quality. She was confused about the noises the car makes, though. "Why does it seem like it's backfiring sometimes," she asked?
"Oh, that's just this exhaust button here," I said. "If you press this, it makes it louder."
"So...why would you ever do that," she innocently asked?
"Um, because it sounds awesome. And it's obnoxious," I said.
She just stared at me for a while, like she was trying to figure something out. I'm pretty sure that was our last date.
Total Trip Miles: 593
Average Trip MPG: 21.5
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 14,783 miles