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Jaguar has invented electric SUV racing
And you thought TG TV made odd racing series. The I-Pace eTrophy is coming
Nope, it is not April 1st. Jaguar’s big announcement at the Frankfurt motor show is that it’s made its own race series. And it’s not, we’re afraid, a grid full of howling F-Type SVRs.
Meet the I-Pace eTrophy, the star of a 20-car one-make series that will act as a support race to Formula E from 2018. That means it’ll visit ten cities, Paris, Rome and New York included.
The I-Pace racer is, naturally, based on the new I-Pace crossover, Jag’s first fully electric vehicle. An SUV isn’t an immediately obvious choice for a racecar, but when you’re supporting Formula E, something that plugs in to the mains is surely mandatory. The base car does at least have 400bhp, and Jag’s Special Vehicle Operations department is responsible for the motorsport makeover.
Tech specs and – importantly – the cost of racing an I-Pace haven’t yet been revealed. But Jag sees the men and women climbing into I-Pace eTrophy seats as up-and-coming racers aspiring to race in Formula E.
Jag will be offering ‘arrive and drive’ packages to make it appealing, with tech support, consumables (many, many tyres, basically), hospitality and racewear all part of the deal. Book a cheap airline to Paris and, if you’ve got a suitably strong race licence, you can hop in an I-Pace and race it. Theoretically.
The firm details are yet to be thrashed out, but each race is set to last 30 minutes and star a VIP driver. The production I-Pace will go on sale just before these spoilered and caged ones go racing, so it’ll be a nice promotional boost for cars we can actually buy. Something Formula E itself doesn’t offer.
Like the sound of it (the disconcertingly quiet, whirring sound, that is)? Or are you still thinking about that grid of F-Types?