2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: Track Day Wrap Up and September Fuel Economy Update
October 14, 2014
When I signed up for my first track day at Buttonwillow Raceway I was excited but nervous. I was given the go-ahead to take our long-term 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, but I wasn't sure what to expect. In a slower, less-powerful (and less-expensive) car, I would've been more evenly matched to the drivers in my novice group. Maybe I could've learned more that way. The worn tires were an issue and I was completely unfamiliar with the track. So was I able to have any fun or was it just a worry-fest?
Despite initial fears, it was a blast. After the first two sessions, I realized the tires could take the abuse and there would be no problem getting home. Even after the third session, the front left tire didn't look much worse than it did when I started out. My complicated strategy to keep the tires intact, was either unnecessary, or it had worked. Maybe even a little bit of both.
The front right tire was showing some interesting wear on the inside of the tire as well, which contributed to my theory about the Jaguar being driven around some hard right-handers, but just to be safe, we'll check the alignment when we replace the rubber.
After departing the track, I headed for the nearest gas station. I let the tires cool and reset the pressures to the "Low Speed" rating of 36 psi. The drive from my front door to Buttonwillow, with a detour to caravan with friends along the way, was 185 miles. On track, I drove about 70 miles total. Including the 6 gallons of fuel added between sessions at the track and the fill-up afterwards, the F-Type consumed 22.063 gallons of 91-octane fuel. That worked out to about 12 mpg.
On the way home I set the Jag's cruise control around 70 mph, and settled down in the slow lane. Two weeks earlier Dan Edmunds had made a similar journey up and over the grapevine and down in to Southern California and got 27.1 mpg over 200 miles. That number was a record high for our long-term Jag, and it lasted about a week. While my trip home was shorter (about 120 miles) and traffic was light, the F-Type returned a staggeringly high 29.9 mpg. For some context, that nearly-30-mpg fill-up is the third time we've exceeded the EPAs highway fuel economy estimate of 23 mpg, and we've only had the car for 12 weeks. For a car with such nuclear power, that's pretty impressive.
Less impressive was the F-Type R's stiff suspension. On rutted, bumpy, Southern California highways the Jag felt rigid and unforgiving. Lots of road and tire noise makes its way in to the cabin and while the seats are great at keeping you in place on the track (lots of bolstering, lots of lateral support), they were a bit hard to handle on the journey home. After my track day with the Jag, I'm still just as head-over-heels for the styling and the speed, but it could certainly use some attention to detail when it comes to comfort.
Here's a look at the F-Type's lifetime fuel economy through the month of September, including the track day and the trip home.
Worst Fill MPG: 8.9
Best Fill MPG: 29.9
Average Lifetime MPG: 16.1
EPA MPG Rating: 18 Combined (16 City / 23 Highway)
Best Range: 292.4 miles
Current Odometer: 9,055 miles
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 9,055 miles