Jaguar returns to motorsport – by racing electric cars
The world famous Jaguar name is once again returning to global motorsport – but this time to race electric cars.
Jaguar – which competed unsuccessfully in Formula One between 2000-4 – is to enter the Formula E Championship next autumn, in time for the sport’s third season.
FIA Formula E is the world’s first global single-seater championship for electric powered cars and offers an opportunity for Jaguar Land Rover to further the development of future EV powertrain including motor and battery technology.
Nick Rogers, group engineering director at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions.
"It is my belief that over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades. The future is about being more connected and more sustainable; electrification and lightweight technologies are becoming more important than ever as urbanisation continues to increase. Formula E has recognised and reacted to these trends and the championship's exciting and pioneering approach is the perfect fit for our brand."
Jaguar Land Rover employs more than 8,000 engineers and claims to be ‘the UK's largest investor in research and development across any business sector’. Jaguar's says its Formula E team will be able to draw upon this industry leading resource with Jaguar Land Rover engineers working closely with the race operations team.
Those engineers will not only be able to apply their knowledge within the race team environment but crucially use the experience to extract data and push the boundaries of electric technology in a performance environment.
Williams Advanced Engineering will be technical partner to the Jaguar Formula E Team and provide extensive motorsport knowledge, combined with high performance EV Systems experience and success. Jaguar Land Rover has a long term relationship with Williams, who partnered with Jaguar on the development of the Jaguar C-X75 plug-in hybrid concept car.
James Barclay, Jaguar team director, said: “We looked in detail at alternative ways of returning to motorsport. This was such an important decision for Jaguar and we wanted to get it right. With our future EV plans, Formula E was the obvious choice and we believe that the benefits are enormous.
“The FIA and the promoter have exciting plans for the future of the championship and we are proud to be one of the first vehicle manufacturers to commit to the series with our own team. We have a lot of work to do ahead of the first race but it is a challenge we relish. We hope that we can welcome a new generation of fans to Jaguar through this exciting programme.”
The team’s entry into Formula E has been approved by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
FIA president Jean Todt said: “We built this series to offer an alternative competition for manufacturers to step into the sport and develop road-relevant electric technologies. The choice of Jaguar to come back to motor racing with Formula E is a proof of success. As it forges a path forward for the future of the electric car, Formula E managed to attract one of the most prestigious and historical brand across the automotive industry.”