Jaguar has announced its return to motorsport after a sabbatical for almost a decade. The British manufacturer has confirmed long-term plans to participate in open-wheel racing as a works team, this time in the much-hyped Formula E Championship.
Jaguar Land Rover’s Group Engineering Director, Nick Rogers said, “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.
This is made possible courtesy of the successful negotiation between Jaguar Land Rover and technical partners Williams Advanced Engineering. The team will participate in the 2016-2017 season of Formula E. Jaguar became the latest string of car manufacturers to join Formula E following DS Citroen and Renault, with Volvo showing keen interest as well.
Jaguar’s last serious venture with motor racing was in Formula One via Jaguar Racing from 2000-2004. After five unsuccessful seasons, Red Bull bought over the team, which subsequently became Red Bull Racing.
Jaguar had electric car aspirations after they toyed with the idea of hybrid electric cars via the C-X75 concept car back in 2011. The C-X75 was powered by four electric motors on each wheel, producing a total output of 778 hp. Sadly, the unfavourable economic conditions forced Jaguar to scrap the C-X75. Just recently, the C-X75 made an appearance in James Bond’s latest flick, Spectre.
As Formula E promises innovation among teams in the future seasons, it remains to be seen how Jaguar will be taking this opportunity to develop future sports cars based on hybrid electric technology. It looks like BMW i8 will finally meet its long-awaited match. Or will it barge into super/hypercar territory? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, don’t miss the Tron-inspired video from Jaguar!