Jaguar has shipped its new XF 2.2-litre diesel to the US but there’s only one and it’s right hand drive.

The car departed New York City on Monday (7 November) with the aim of arriving in Los Angeles in seven days – a journey spanning over 2,800 miles and 11 states.

With independent UK test drivers David and Alexander Madgwick at the wheel, the UK-registered XF will cross the continent in order to evaluate just how frugal the 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine can be, the automaker said.

A GPS device fitted to the car to allow the project to be interactive – the daily progress of the car can be tracked on Facebook and Twitter.

Jaguar said it was the first of its diesel models to enter the USA – the diesel engines are also made with left-hand-drive primarily for sale in Europe.

The 2.2 I4 diesel was introduced – supplementing the the three-litre V6 turbodiesel – for the 2011 model year to give Jaguar a more fuel efficient model with lower CO2 emissions to compete with German rivals BMW, Mercedes and Audi in the company car market where, especially in the UK, taxation is largely based on CO2 emissions.

Earlier this year an XF 2.2 was driven from the factory at Castle Bromwich near Birmngham to Munich, Germany – 816 miles – on a single tank of diesel and achieved an average of 57 mpg.

“The project will test the capabilities of the XF – serving as an engineering exercise to determine the maximum efficiency of the car,” Jaguar said.

Jaguar sold 10,224 cars in the US in the 10 months to 31 October, down 6.7% year on year, according to Autodata. According to the Automotive News Data Bank, XF sales YTD were off 27.1% to 4,342.