It seems strange to think that an iconic sports car manufacturer such as Jaguar has not been involved in motor sport for around 12 years – but that is all about to change with the recent announcement that Jaguar is to reacquaint itself with motorsport –Formula E, to be precise.
Jaguar have seemingly decided on this move in a continuation of the plan to align the brand further away from the image of your typical gas-guzzling sports car builder and into a more eco-friendly stance for the future. The growth in the market for electric vehicles along with the constantly evolving EV technology made Formula E the obvious choice.
Jaguar will announce the official name of the team behind the Formula E move in spring, but we can be certain that the process will involve input from Jaguar’s technology partner, Williams Advanced Engineering, with the operation being based at the Williams’ Grove centre – and the Jaguar Land Rover arm, with the announcement of an EV Land Rover drawing ever closer.
Jaguar will commence proceedings on the track in the autumn of 2016 – the third season of FIA Formula E – and an electric crossover vehicle (of undisclosed origin) is rumoured to be on the cards to make an appearance at the Paris Motor Show around the same time.
It’s a big bold new direction for Jaguar, with Nick Rogers, the Group Engineering Director, announcing on the Jaguar website that: “…Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies.”
Of course, it is also a major coup for the fledgling Formula E to have such a prestigious manufacturer on board in only it’s third season, with the chances being that this might well propel Formula E further into the limelight – the more manufacturers such as Jaguar that get involved, the more EV technology will naturally advance, so it’s win-win all round.
While we don’t yet know the name of the racing team, or the livery, or much else for that matter, Jaguar have said that they will remain true to their racing heritage.
I predict a return to the classic British Racing Green as the main colour for Jaguar Formula E, the same colour that the company used for their short-lived Formula 1 team in 2000. We can also expect that the technology that turns up in the guise of Jaguar Formula E will trickle down into future Jaguar EV vehicle production. These next few years should certainly be exciting times for this famous manufacturer.
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