Jaguar Land Rover Plans To Enter Formula E Series
The specific details of the press conference are still unclear at this point, but all signs seem to point to the company announcing its intention to compete in the Formula E World Championship, becoming the latest manufacturer to throw its name into the young series. The other automakers that are already involved in Formula E are Audi, Renault, and Peugeot.
The company’s decision to join Formula E is reportedly tied into its plans to enter the electric car world, especially with the series’ whole revolving around the propagation of electric technology. Apart from the obvious competitive standpoint, JLR believes that being a part of Formula E will give it the proper environment to boost the development of its electric road car program. After all, there’s no other racing series in the world that offers comprehensive live testing for electrification technology.
It’s unlikely that JLR will be able to enter a full racing team this season since it’s already underway. In fact, Jaguar’s pending announcement will happen a few weeks before the third round of the season at Uruguay. A formal accreditation from the FIA is also still in the works. Until JLR secures that, it won’t be able to compete in the series. If the company really is going all-in on its involvement in Formula E, look for it to spend the remainder of the season preparing for its entry next year.
That’s going to give the company, and the team it eventually fields, enough time to get settled in with a functioning racing team and a full driver lineup.
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Why it matters
As exciting as it is to see Jaguar return to open-wheel racing after a disastrous run in Formula One in the last decade, I do think that it’s decision to join Formula E has less to do with the series itself and more with the opportunities it presents in the development of electrification technology.
I’m not saying that JLR isn’t going to put its full attention towards being competitive in the series because the company would only be wasting its time if it didn’t put itself in the best possible position to succeed. Besides, there’s already talk that the company’s future team will be working in concert with Williams, which we all know from its long-standing involvement in Formula One.
The opportunity to develop its electrification technology for possible use in its future road cars is an opportunity that’s too good to pass up. I fully expect JLR to use its involvement in Formula E as a spring board towards the development of a future electric car. The company has already said that it plans to launch an electric SUV by 2017 or 2018, so it makes sense to use whatever means it can to help in the development of its electrification tech. Being a part of Formula E will certainly go a long way in accomplishing that.
As far as Formula E is concerned, having JLR on the field is great for the series as it tries to elevate itself into the mainstream. As successful as it has been, it’s only in its second season, so the series still needs some help in getting more fans interested in it. Having the presence of Jaguar, together with Audi, Renault, and Peugeot helps establish the credibility of the series since these well-established brands are involved in it.
Read our full review on the Jaguar C-X75 here.
Source: Sky News