Jaguar may enter Formula E to advance electric portfolio
According to Sky News, Jaguar's electric racing program would give the British carmaker the opportunity to showcase its prowess in electric propulsion. Quoting an unnamed insider, the UK news service reported that Formula E "offers live testing for electrification technologies in areas such as batteries and drivetrains; that's why it looks valuable to them." The program would likely be launched in conjunction with Williams, the F1 team with which it partnered on development of the aborted C-X75 hybrid supercar project recently unearthed for a starring role in the latest James Bond film Spectre. Williams helped develop the battery system that powers the electric spec racer used in Formula E. The partnership could take over from the Trulli team that is expected to soon drop out of the series.
JLR wouldn't be the first automaker to participate in electric racing. Audi supports the Abt team, Renault the e.Dams outfit, and PSA Peugeot Citroën's DS brand the Virgin Racing squad. Mercedes and Volvo have also been reported to be looking carefully at participation, while BMW provides support vehicles for the series.
Jaguar participates in vintage racing and Land Rover runs the Bowler off-road racing series. However, the last time the company supported a top-level works racing program was between 2000 and 2004 when Jaguar Racing (the precursor to today's Red Bull team) competed in Formula One. It has since offered the XKR GT2 racer and has been rumored to be considering a return to sports car racing, but the trend towards electrification now appears to be driving the Formula E initiative instead. We're waiting to hear back on requests for comment from Jaguar. But Sky reports that an official announcement will be made on Tuesday, so watch this space.
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