Is there an electric Range Rover on the horizon? What about an all-electric Jaguar F-Type? The answer is, not yet, but, legendary British carmaker Jaguar has taken the first steps towards an electric vehicle future.
Jaguar confirmed its return to the ranks of international motorsport, announcing this week that it will contest the third season of the innovative all-electric FIA Formula E championship, which gets underway this October.
Jaguar unveiled its all-electric racer, the I-TYPE 1, in the UK earlier this week, also confirming that Kiwi hotshot – and Mark Webber protege – Mitch Evans would be one of the team’s drivers alongside Irish racer Adam Carroll.
Above: Kiwi open-wheel ace Mitch Evans
Jaguar Racing has also entered into a technical partnership with Japanese technology giant Panasonic that will, according to Jaguar, “develop a future that promises to push the boundaries of electric technology in a performance environment.”
Formula E is the nascent category of world motorsport, designed to showcase and serve as a testbed for electric vehicle technology.
“Today marks a new chapter in the history of Jaguar Racing. As the first premium car manufacturer in Formula E we are proud to be back in top-level motorsport,” said Gerd Mauser, the Chairman of Panasonic Jaguar Racing.
“The future is changing and we’re part of that change. We can’t wait to begin racing competitively in inner city locations inspiring a whole new generation of Jaguar Racing fans to join us on this exciting journey. Formula E is the perfect platform to inspire the next generation.”
Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering at Jaguar and Land Rover, added that his company’s involvement in Formula E would play a major role in helping develop future technologies destined for both the Jaguar and Land Rover model ranges.
“Over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades,” said Rogers. “The championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions.
“We will apply this vital knowledge as part of our real world development. At Jaguar Land Rover we employ 9000 engineers and the team will draw on these engineers to extract data and push the boundaries of electric technology in a race environment.”
The team has already completed 21 days of testing with its all-electric I-TYPE 1. The third season of the hi-tech series gets underway in Hong Kong on October 16.