After over a decade in the wilderness, it’s time for one of motor racing’s most revered names to step back into the paddock. Since its last appearance on the F1 circuit at Interlagos in 2004, the distinctive British racing green of Jaguar has been conspicuous by its absence in the world of motorsport.
However, that self-imposed exile is about to come to end, with the exciting and intriguing announcement that Jaguar will field a factory team in the world’s premiere EV single-seater championship; Formula E.
As the series enters its third season in autumn 2016, the historic British marque, which boasts no fewer than seven Le Mans victories to its name, will do battle with the likes of Audi, Renault and Peugeot-Citroën for the ultimate EV racing crown.
Jaguar’s zero-emissions mission will be an all British affair as the company’s racing arm confirmed that it would be working in collaboration with Williams for its assault at the Formula E title. The two iconic British racing brands first joined forces in the development of the Jaguar C-X75 hybrid supercar concept. Now, as the Jaguar Formula E Team’s official technical partner, Williams will bring its vast motorsport and hybrid engineering experience to bear in the development and production of a high-performance EV powertrain.
Given Jag’s ambitions to expand its on-the-road EV presence, including rumblings of a potential ‘E-Pace’ electric crossover in the pipeline, the move into Formula E makes good sense. Team Director James Barclay described the potential benefits of a Formula E program as “enormous” and whether success in the series comes in a torrent or a trickle, knowledge gained on the track and in the paddock will prove invaluable in honing and fine-tuning Jaguar’s future generation of road-going EVs.
More details on the big cat’s return to racing, including the all-important driver line-up, will be disclosed in the run up to season three of Formula E.