Motorsport is all about pushing the boundaries of whats technologically possible and being faster than the competition. As we move from a time where F1 is the top tier of racing, Formula E is gaining momentum and will at some stage, be a more appropriate reflection of the all-electric cars we drive on the road.
After being imagined back in 2012, by 2014 the first series of Formula E began and since then has continued to attract the top manufacturers from around the globe. Like generations of racing gone by, the category serves as a platform for technology innovation that is then passed down to benefit consumers in the production cars.
This week, Jaguar Racing have announced a new support category for Formula E, the I-PACE eTROPHY. This is world’s first all-electric international race series for production-based cars.
The i-PACE is set to go on sale in the second half of 2018 and is an all electric, 294kW 4-door that’ll get from 0-100km/h in 4 seconds.
The racing-going version will have some differences to the production model, namely an seriously aggressive aero kit and safety upgrades like a roll cage.
The planned schedule consists of a practice and qualifying session, followed by a 30-minute race.
The i-PACE eTROPHY will travel the world to 10 cities and feature a full grid of 20 drivers, supporting the 5th season of Formula E in late 2018. If you’re near Hong Kong, Paris, Sao Paolo and New York, make sure you get yourself to one of the races to see them in action for yourself.
Alejandro Agag, Founder & CEO of Formula E, said,
Jaguar has been a welcome addition to Formula E and a fantastic advocate for electric street racing. I’m delighted that in addition to the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team competing on the Formula E grid, we’ll also be adding to our race day schedule with a competitive new support series for season five – the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY.
The competition will offer more entertainment for fans in-between sessions and is further testament to the advances in battery technology and exciting electric performance. I hope Jaguar will allow me to bring my race suit and helmet… and maybe get behind the wheel myself!
Gerd Mäuser, Chairman of Jaguar Racing, said,
Jaguar returned to racing in 2016 with the mission ‘Race to Innovate’. With the launch of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, we’ve strengthened our commitment to battery electric vehicles, international motorsport and Formula E. As a British team, we’re proud to announce today the launch of the world’s first production battery electric vehicle championship. We’ve always said we want to prove our electrification technologies on the track – this is the proof.
I’m 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 has grown exponentially since we joined as the first premium manufacturer last year, with recent commitments from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
Here’s a look at what’s underneath the i-PACE body. It’s a skateboard-style design, much like a Tesla, where the 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack is positioned low to the ground for better weight distribution assisting handling. The production model is claiming more than 500km range on a single charge, so it’ll be a serious contender when it arrives next year.
Check out the announcement video for the Jaguar i-PACE eTrophy Championship.
Jaguar Land Rover recently committed to electrification, with all new models incorporating electric or hybrid technology from 2020. This mirrors the commitment by many other auto makers, I just hope Australia gets their power issues sorted because we’re about to have a few million EVs recharging over the next decade.
Don’t forget the other support category for Formula E tracks will also play host to RoboRace, the first champtionship for driverless cars. Whichever way you look at it, Formula E it hitting its stride in its 4th and 5th season and a race weekend stacked with a variety of electric categories is shaping up to be a very compelling experience for advertisers and motorsport fans.
F1, you are officially on notice.
If the Electric GT series was smart, they’d also hitch their calendar to the Formula E championship as well, as there’s no doubt, fans of EVs would love to see the Tesla Model S P100D racing around as another support category.
More information at Fia.com