Ten rounds of the all-electric race series will take place, with each race taking place in a different country, although the last two races in the series will both take place in New York. No UK race is planned, despite Jaguar being a UK-based brand. Each race will last 25 minutes, plus one final lap, and the prize for the winner is in excess of £500,000.
Qualifying and practice rounds will come before each race, the last of which takes place on 15 July 2019. Each race will also have a celebrity driver, both from the motorsport sphere and elsewhere, competing.
A field of up to 20 cars will race during the Formula E weekend schedule of 10 events in the 2018/19 season, giving the eTrophy a role similar to that of the Formula 1-supporting Porsche Supercup series.
To prepare the all-electric I-Pace SUV for the harsh environment of racing, SVO will equip it with competition suspension, a roll cage and other track-spec modifications such as a fixed rear wing and diffuser.
Jaguar has yet to confirm the power output of the production I-Pace, let alone the racer, but the concept that previews it offers some insight into the performance we can expect. The production I-Pace uses two electric motors - one at the front and one at the rear - with a combined 395bhp and 513lb ft, with energy supplied by a 90kWh lithium-ion battery. The production car can hit 60mph in 4.5sec, but performance of the racer could be enhanced with increased output as well as a reduced kerbweight.
Last year, Autocar revealed how Jaguar was using the development work of its Formula E programme, where it fields two cars in the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team, to speed up the progress of its I-Pace road model. The launch of the I-Pace racing series is seen as a way to boost the appeal of Jaguar’s first electric car, which was described as being a “driver’s car” that “maximises performance” by the brand’s Formula E team director James Barclay.
Jaguar Racing chairman Gerd Mäuser said: “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.”