While there's a lot of happening the Formula 1 championship (Liberty Media bought F1 for $4.4 billion), the all-electric version of the popular form of motorsports, Formula E is also facing a lot of changes. One prominent among them is the news that Jaguar Racing has joined hands with the electronics giant, Panasonic, to develop a racing car for the electric racing series.
The Panasonic Jaguar factory Formula E effort is all set to make its debut during the 2016/17 Formula E season. With this, Jaguar will mark its return to the factory motorsport for the first time in more than 10 years. Jaguar announced the return to the worlds' leading electric race series almost a year ago, and now it is official with the launch of the Formula E race car. The race car is aimed to help in the research and development programme for future electric road cars for Jaguar.
Nick Rogers, executive director, product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Over the next five years, we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades. The championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions. We will apply this vital knowledge as part of our real-world development. At Jaguar Land Rover, we employ 9000 engineers and the team will draw on these engineers to extract data and push the boundaries of electric technology in a race environment.”
The Jaguar Formula E car will be called the I-Type 1 and will have electronics giant Panasonic as its title sponsor and the Lear Corporation as its official partner. The Jaguar Racing has roped in Mitch Evans and Adam Carroll as its drivers and the Chinese racer Ho-Pin Tung will be the reserve driver. The Jaguar I-Type 1 will be developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, an offshoot of the Formula 1 team of the same name.
Adding to the Rogers comment, Team director James Barclay said: “We want to be successful on and off the track. We know that the challenge will be strong. Our competitors have a two-year head start. We will be keeping our expectations in check in our first season. Ultimately, we’re here to win but we’re here to innovate, too.”
Talking about the emergence of electric vehicles, Panasonic Jaguar Racing chairman Gerd Mauser commented: “Our mission is to change the image of electric vehicles. Over the past five years, there has been an unstoppable momentum towards electric vehicles. We can look forward to a series of exciting advancements over future months and years.”
Apart from the Jaguar’s factory team, DS has partnered Virgin Racing and Renault has been in the race for all the three seasons. BMW has a partnership with Andretti Autosport and Audi has announced its partnership with ABT Schaeffler. Volvo is also considering an entry for its Polestar performance brand in the future.
Other EV vehicle manufacturers also have entries in Formula E, including NextEV, Faraday Future and Venturi. The third Formula E season will start from 9 October, 2016 on the streets of Hong Kong.