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Jaguar's back in motorsport... with a new Formula E contender
All-electric racer sees Jag back on the grid after 11-year hiatus
It’s no promotional gimmick either: the company will be sending their own team to line up on the grid when the third season of the electric racing series gets underway in the autumn of 2016, with Williams Advanced Engineering joining them as official technical partners.
Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover’s Group Engineering Director, says: “I am proud to announce Jaguar’s return to racing with an entry into the innovative FIA Formula E championship. Electric vehicles will absolutely play a role in Jaguar Land Rover’s future product portfolio, and Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies.”Yes, Jaguar’s planning a range of all-electric road cars, and reckons Formula E is the perfect way to get its message across.
The British team will join the likes of Audi and Renault in the fledgling discipline, which is currently being led by Brazilian driver Lucas Di Grassi after the opening two races in China and Malaysia.
“This was such an important decision for Jaguar and we wanted to get it right,” according to Team Director James Barclay. “With our future EV plans, Formula E was the obvious choice and we believe that the benefits are enormous.”
The announcement is a boost to Formula E as well, with sceptics pointing to various shortcomings - such as drivers needing two cars to complete a race - to downplay its potential.
However, the acquisition of another major manufacturer will give organisers hope the series is gaining enough support to overcome its teething problems.
Formula E’s Chief Exec Alejandro Agag says they are “delighted to welcome Jaguar” into the sport given that they bring with them “a brand with a rich sporting heritage”.
He adds: “The fact that it is returning to global motorsport with Formula E is a huge endorsement of the championship and its ability to influence the development of electric cars.”
At the COP21 climate change conference in Paris last week, several nations agreed to stop producing cars with tailpipe emissions by 2050. Jaguar certainly isn’t hanging around.