Formula-e Update: Jaguar is Back to the Track in 2016
Jaguar Racing is back. With a modern twist. Where you’d think back to images of the Xk120C at LeMans, Marks 1 and 2 winning the British Saloon Car Championship in the early 60’s, or the SCCA exploits of the Series III V12 XKE, Jaguar Racing has been in the mix with Ferrari, Mercedes and Lambo.
Now they’re joining Formula E as a manufacturer and team. From Jaguar Land Rover Global Media:
Jaguar today announced its return to global motorsport. In the autumn of 2016, Jaguar will enter the third season of the exciting FIA Formula E Championship as a manufacturer with its own team. FIA Formula E is the world’s first global single-seater championship for electric powered cars.
FIA Formula E offers a unique opportunity for Jaguar Land Rover to further the development of future EV powertrain including motor and battery technology.
Nick Rogers, Group Engineering Director for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “I am proud to announce Jaguar’s return to racing with an entry into the innovative FIA Formula E championship. Electric vehicles will absolutely play a role in Jaguar Land Rover’s future product portfolio and Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies. The Championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions….”
Jaguar is applying the old-fashioned method to achieve 21st Century automotive innovation. The racetrack is the birthplace for a long list of everyday automotive technology. Think DSG, ignition buttons, independent suspensions, disc brakes and more. More recently, Audi has use the race track to perfect diesel hybrid technology. And let’s not forget the Porsche 919 Hybrid Racer–you know, the one that won LeMans in 2015. That tech will trickle down to Audis, Porsches and VWs in the near future.
It’s safe to say that tech advances born of Jaguar Formula E racing will be branded with some mention of racing and performance. Not a bad move, as the average non-car person still thinks electric cars = slow. Off the top of my head, I think Jaguar could have an advantage when it comes to battery performance–weight versus output. And I’m sure they’re marketing people can make some noise around safety–because there’s something to be said for a battery proven to survive racing accidents.
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