Today at the first press day of the IAA in Frankfurt, Jaguar announced the launch of their all-electric production car racing series.
The I-PACE eTROPHY will be a support series to Formula E from Season 5 (2018-19) and will see 20 identical-spec cars battle it out on the track.
UK-based car manufacturer Jaguar joined Formula E as a competing team in 2016.
I have been waiting with baited breath for a tangible electric tin top series and I whole-heartedly congratulate Jaguar for transcending concept and turning my electric motorsport dream into reality.
The international series will be held across 10 races in 10 different countries, selected from the Formula E calendar (although the calendar will not be announced until next year). The Jaguar website is already advertising the series to individuals and/or companies wanting to take a place on the inaugural grid. With only 20 drives available, it will likely fill up fast and the series will feature full “arrive and drive” packages.
An eTROPHY race weekend will consist of practice and qualifying sessions, then a 30 minute race.
In terms of the car, the I-PACE still lives in concept status at the moment, with the production car set to be released in the second half of next year. With a 90kWh capacity battery and 700Nm of instant torque, the I-PACE concept packs quite a punch (and hit 100km/h in around 4 seconds) but Jaguar haven’t given any technical spec (or pricing information) about the production or eTROPHY racer yet.
According to Jaguar, the all-wheel-drive eTROPHY I-PACE racing cars are being built by their (slightly mysterious sounding) Special Vehicle Operations team.
Going forward, I am interested to hear plans for track layouts and if the Formula E tracks will be adapted to accommodate this new series, which will potentially see much bigger and heavier cars throwing themselves round the narrow city circuits. The Formula E beasts are really fantastic for tight circuits with sharp angles, but I can’t imagine the existing tracks lending themselves to the Jaguar SUV without making some changes to some of the layouts.
An exciting day for electrification and motorsport, especially after the announcement from Jaguar last week that all new vehicles will be electric or hybrid by 2020. I look forward to closely following Jaguar (and the eTROPHY series) on their mission: Race To Innovate.