Jaguar has about as storied a history in electric vehicle racing as any manufacturer could, having started out in Formula E right from the first green flag. Now it’s setting up an international single marque production EV racing series.
The 10-race series will showcase Jaguar’s upcoming electric vehicle, the I-Pace SUV, and will be the exclusive support race of the 2018/19 Formula E series as it stages weekend events around the world. The unique characteristic is that Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations will prepare the 20 I-Pace racecars for each field and simply ask drivers to “Arrive and Drive.” There will be another slot at each race for a celebrity driver.
“Jaguar returned to racing in 2016 with the mission ‘Race to Innovate,’” said Gerd Mäuser, Chairman of Jaguar Racing With the launch of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy we have strengthened our commitment to battery electric vehicles, international motorsport and Formula E. As a British team, we are proud to announce today the launch of the world’s first production battery electric vehicle championship.”
The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy series is expected to also act as a feeding series for Formula E, introducing local drivers at each venue to zero-emissions racing and allowing teams to witness young talent each weekend on the same tracks and under the same race conditions as their professional teams use.
“Jaguar has been a welcome addition to Formula E and a fantastic advocate for electric street racing. I’m delighted that in addition to the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team competing on the Formula E grid, we will be adding to our race day schedule with a competitive new support series for season five,” added Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E. “The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy will bring more entertainment for fans in-between sessions and will be a further testament to the advances in battery technology and exciting electric performance. I hope Jaguar will allow me to bring my race suit and helmet... and maybe get behind the wheel myself!”
The announcement of the series comes on the heels of the British government announcing the banning of fossil-fuel vehicles on the isles by 2040, as well Jaguar Land Rover’s own commitment to electrify all new product lines by 2020. And the series launches at the same time as the new I-Pace hits the market.
“I am looking forward to seeing a full grid of Jaguar I-Pace racecars in late 2018, soon after the first Jaguar I-Pace hits the road in Europe,” said Mäuser. “We’ve always said we want to prove our electrification technologies on the track – this is the proof. Ultimately this innovative series will enhance the technology in our future electric vehicles and benefit our customers.
“The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy will improve the spectacle for the fans and give young drivers a ladder into Formula E,” he concluded. “We expect our series to be a sell-out and an exciting international sporting event.”
Technical specifications for the racecars, a race calendar, and costs for the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy will be released closer to the series launch in fall 2018.