Jaguar already has a team in Formula E, the open wheel race series for electric cars. Soon it will begin production of the i-PACE, an all electric SUV to rival the Tesla Model X. The company says every car it sells will have an electric motor — whether in a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric car — by 2020. What better way to showcase its newfound electric car prowess than by organizing a racing series featuring the I-PACE exclusively to run concurrent with Formula E races around the world beginning next year?
The racing will be called the I-PACE eTROPHY and will kick off at the start of the fourth season of Formula E racing in October 2019. As many as 20 specially prepared I-PACE race cars will line up on Formula E race weekends at cities all around the world, such as Hong Kong, Paris, Sao Paulo, and New York to support the launch of Jaguar’s all-electric 5 passenger SUV. Technical specifications, race dates, and costs for the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be released in 2018.
The announcement follows news that the British government is to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 and reinforces Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to electrification. Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations in Warwickshire will build the race cars.
Gerd Mäuser, chairman of Jaguar Racing, said in an email sent our way: “Jaguar returned to racing in 2016 with the mission ‘Race to Innovate’. 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.
“We’ve always said we want to prove our electrification technologies on the track — this is the proof. I am looking forward to seeing a full grid of Jaguar I-PACE race cars in late 2018, soon after the first Jaguar I-PACE hits the road in Europe. Ultimately this innovative series will enhance the technology in our future electric vehicles and benefit our customers.
“Formula E has grown exponentially since we joined as the first premium manufacturer last year, with commitments from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will improve the spectacle for the fans and gives young drivers a ladder into Formula E. We expect our series to be a sellout and an exciting international sporting event.”
Alejandro Agag, founder and CEO of Formula E, has this to say: “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. 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!”
I’m sure if Señor Agag wants to get behind the wheel of an I-PACE race car, the good folks at Jaguar Racing will make that happen. What I want to know is who comes up with all the stupid names for all these new electric cars? Manufacturers are tripping all over themselves trying to devise clever names for new products.
BMW uses a lower case “i” for its i3 and i8 cars. Mercedes has a new electric car division called EQ, which presumably is supposed to relate somehow in the mind of customers with IQ. Volkswagen’s new electric car division it calls I.D. — a moniker that is impossible to type smoothly. Audi likes to type the names of all its new concept cars in all lowercase letters. Porsche has the Mission E
Meanwhile, the marketplace is anxious to see, feel, and smell these wondrous electric creations. Most of us wish the manufacturers would spend less time on cute marketing ploys and more on getting the cars into production.