Jaguar has revealed a racing version of its I-Pace electric SUV at the Frankfurt motor show.
Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division will produce the car to compete in an eTrophy series to support Formula E from 2018.
To tune the car for racing, SVO will kit it out with competition suspension, a roll cage and other track-spec changes including a fixed rear wing and diffuser.
Jaguar hasn't confirmed the power output of the production I-Pace, still less this new racer, but the concept I-Pace uses four electric motors to power each wheel, with a combined 395bhp and 516lb ft, with energy from a 90kWh lithium-ion battery. The concept can hit 62mph in around four seconds, but we hope the performance of the racer could be enhanced with increased output as well as reduced weight.
The new eTrophy event will see a field of up to 20 cars racing during the Formula E weekend schedule of 10 events in the 2018/19 season. As such, the eTrophy will have a role similar to that of the Formula 1-supporting Porsche Supercup series.
The new racer is seen as a way to promote Jaguar’s first electric car, which was described as being a “driver’s car” that “maximises performance” by Jaguar'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.”
Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag said: “I’m delighted that we will be adding to our race-day schedule with a competitive new support series for season five. The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy will bring more entertainment for fans in-between sessions and will be a further testament to the advances in battery technology and exciting electric performance.”
Jaguar’s eTrophy will almost certainly be the world’s first FIA-sanctioned international production-based electric vehicle series. It won't be the first electric production racing championship overall - that title will go to the Electric GT series, which uses the Tesla Model S and starts in November 2017.