2015 Jaguar F-Type R: Road Trip Fuel Economy
October 1, 2014
I usually don't choose a car like the 2015 Jaguar F-Type R for a weekend road trip. It seats just two, so my family can't fit. But this time I was going it alone up to Buttonwillow Raceway Park.
No, I wasn't driving. This was an SCCA race weekend that required a competition license, a roll cage and other dedicated safety gear. I was going there to work as a corner marshal, something I've done for more years than I care to admit.
It's a great way to get into motorsports before you have the budget. You get to participate in a crucial way that puts you in the action. Your role makes you a student of the craft to the point that an aspiring driver can figure out how to drive a corner and how to pass well before you own a car or even a helmet. And there are times when drivers will come up to you after a session for a critique of their line. This hobby has allowed me to participate in Indy Car and Formula 1 races, too.
But I digress. This is about the freeway-heavy trip from Orange County to Buttonwillow Raceway and back in our Jaguar F-Type.
My route north mimicked that of my recent road trip to Laguna Seca in the Kia K900 sedan, except this track is located before the Highway 46 turnoff. This run was pretty much Interstate 5 all the way, with a few stops thrown in for food and whatnot. And before I left home I ran a few errands after the start/stop test was over.
After getting my track credentials I filled up in Buttonwillow after 287 miles. My calculator said I had averaged 23.6 mpg.
Over the weekend I drove between the track and my hotel a couple of times, hit the drive-through once or twice and made an 18-mile run to the next town to pick up a pizza. And of course my friends on the flag team wanted joy rides after the last checkered flag fell. Those miles went by at 18.9 mpg.
I filled up before I left so I could separate the Buttonwillow miles and see what a pure point-to-point highway run at 70-something miles per hour would amount to. The answer: 27.1 mpg for the 200.2 miles to my usual pump #2 at the Sam's Shell station on the edge of my neighborhood.
It would have been ridiculously easy to do worse. The 550-horsepower V8 has an intoxicating snort (especially with the pipes opened up) that makes you want to exaggerate every throttle application.
But it's also got a boatload of torque the makes it easy to merge, climb grades and pass slowpokes without kicking it down into a lower gear. Get yourself in sync with the low-end grunt that's available at the bottom end and you can go far. Literally.
See me after class if you want to know more about the other thing. We could use some new blood.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 8,137 miles