It’s all ready for the new one-model Formula E series

Jaguar’s “Pace” lineup has grown quite quickly, with the F-Pace winning the hearts of many, and the E-Pace – the baby of the lineup – coming to life for the 2018 model year. Both of these models, however, make use of gasoline or diesel engines for motivation. Recently, however, Jaguar debuted the I-Pace Concept, a vehicle that, once put into production, will sit at the top of the lineup with its sedan-like proportions and two electric motors – the same ones that delivered 394 horsepower and 516 pound-feet in the concept. It seems that we’re actually getting a look at a high-performance version of the I-Pace long before we actually see the production car, all thanks to Formula E and a race series that will feature as many as 20 examples of the I-Pace eTrophy. Details about Jag’s newest race car are still predominantly under wraps until at least 2018, but we do know that it will be built by Jaguar SVO in the U.K.

With that said, the initial debuting of this new race car stands as an increased effort being put forth by Land Rover and Jaguar to electrify its entire lineup of new cars starting in 2020. And, with the Brits planning to ban ICE cars by 2040 altogether, the I-Pace and I-Pace eTrophy set Jaguar up nicely to be prepared for that inevitable moment 23 years from now. The I-Pace eTrophy also comes along as the basis for the world’s first production battery electric vehicle racing series – the first step in what will eventually redefine racing as we know it. But, we’re getting a little too far ahead of ourselves, so let’s take the time to take a look at the new I-Pace eTrophy race car and talk about what we can expect from Jaguars latest pet project.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior

2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY High Resolution Exterior
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When we got our first look at the I-Pace Concept and then later the camouflaged prototype, I thought to myself that this is going to be a fairly aggressive electric car. But, when I viewed it in that way, I had no thought of something designed for anything more than your general day-to-day driving, and maybe the occasional spirited run at a few events for PR purposes. Then the doors opened to Frankfurt, and we got to lay our eyes on the eTrophy – a model that is even more aggressive and quite sporty at that. It’s defined by things like that “cat” logo on the rear quarters and rear doors, the cleverly placed black vinyl above the side skirts and hood, not to mention the dual racing stripe that runs from front to rear.

Aerodynamically, the eTrophy stands apart from the concept by means of lower and larger corner vents and a much taller air dam

Aerodynamically, the eTrophy stands apart from the concept by means of lower and larger corner vents and a much taller air dam with a wing on either side that should undoubtedly create some down pressure in the front along with that front lip. Those corner vents are flanked on the outside by big black inserts that add quite a bit of aggressiveness while the front grille, headlights, and hood are basically carry over units from the concept. Moving to the side profile, the biggest things that change from the concept are the wheels, which are finished in black and the taller side skirts that are far less attractive than those on the concept. The side view mirrors are also a bit taller, clearly for better visibility on the track. The rear door also has a separator in the glass, which could indicate that the production model will see the same thing when it debuts.

2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY High Resolution Exterior
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Around back, the rear hatch keeps that sporty overhang, but this baby is designed for speed and, as such, needs more rear down force for traction

Around back, the rear hatch keeps that sporty overhang, but this baby is designed for speed and, as such, needs more rear down force for traction. As such, Jaguar has added on a tall spoiler with tiny side wings to accommodate. Whether or not the spoiler is adjustable or active in any way remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Then again, this is designed for a single-model series, so driver skill will be key, and a fixed rear spoiler is more likely.

Down below the rear fascia has been changed drastically. It’s technically the same fascia without the deep cutouts for the recessed corner designs, while the little diffuser from the concept has grown considerably. Featuring six large air channels that are accented by body-colored stripes, it also protrudes from the rear fascia by about an inch – a nearly equal amount to the ride height drop that comes into play (based on the assumption that Jag has added a bespoke suspension, anyway.)

2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY High Resolution Exterior
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All told, the I-Pace eTrophy is quite attractive and certainly menacing. Would be fun to see a similar design on the road in SVO form. I have to add that that Baby Blue paint finish and those blacked out windows are quite attractive together as well. Funny how black goes so well with certain colors, isn’t it?

Interior

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept
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Note: Interior of the I-Pace Concept shown here.

With Jaguar withholding all specifications of its newest electric racer, it should come as no surprise that it has yet to let us have a look at the interior. It even went so far as to double tint the windows to prevent even seeing the slightest hint as to what could be hidden away inside. When the Concept debuted, it had a near-production ready interior, so expect to see the concept’s interior carry over to the standard production model and at least partially to the eTrophy as well. But, this car, in particular, is designed specifically for Formula E racing, so don’t expect to see such a comfy cabin.

The interior will be dominated by a huge roll cage, while the driver’s seat is the only seat likely to remain and will likely be swapped out for the traditional racing seat complete with a five-point harness

The interior will be dominated by a huge roll cage, while the driver’s seat is the only seat likely to remain and will likely be swapped out for the traditional racing seat complete with a five-point harness. In addition to this, you’ll get the usual racing goodies like a fire extinguisher, bespoke infotainment software, a bespoke instrument cluster, and a racing steering wheel that – at the very least – has a flat bottom and will be wrapped in Alcantara. It will likely be smaller as well and should feature safety controls for things like emergency shut-off, power-kill, and the like.

Of course, anything is possible at this point, so I could be completely wrong. Then again, we may never get a good look at the interior outside of cams mounted inside during racing and testing, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Drivetrain

2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY High Resolution Exterior
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In regard to specifications and performance, all Jaguar has said is that “technical specifications, race calendar, and costs will be released in 2018.” There’s no word as to when in 2018 we’ll get the news, so at this point, it’s the usual waiting game.

With that in mind, we do have some sort of idea of what to expect. Thanks to the news that the drivetrain found in the I-Pace Concept will be carried over to the production model, we know what will serve as the basis for motivation in the eTrophy. We’re talking about two electric motors, one at the front axle and one at the rear, with a massive battery pack stashed along the length of the floor. In the concept, this setup delivered 394 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, EPA figures are still unavailable to efficiency is a bit of a mystery, but it should be good for at least 300 miles on the road. The concept also featured a double wishbone and integral link suspension system like that found in the Jaguar XE, XF, and the F-Pace. It also makes use of an electric brake booster that is said to provide better control.

I would expect to see all of this carry over to the eTrophy, however, the suspension could be modified for racing, and the electric motors could prove to be different units. They could be the same and feature the same output figures – after all, 394 ponies and 516 pound-feet of twist is nothing to sneeze at – but those motors could also be swapped out for more powerful units or even less powerful units. I wouldn’t expect to see more than 500 horsepower or any less than 250 horsepower in the end, though, so we’ll just have to see. If anything, I would bet on smaller motors that will offer longer range. This thing is designed for racing and needs to be able to run a full race without running out of juice, right? After all, the concept could charge to 80 percent in 90 minutes on a 50-kW charger, so that would make for quite a boring intermission should all cars have to pit and recharge, don’t you think?

Conclusion

2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY High Resolution Exterior
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Unfortunately, we end this review with more questions than answers, but this example of the eTrophy is an early preview that was designed for the purpose of showcasing the design and generating hype about the upcoming one-model series in Formula E. If nothing else, it should prove to make Formula E that much more interesting and who knows, maybe those of us still hating on the EV movement will begin to venture over to the dark side of batteries, hydrogen, and electric motors. What are your thoughts on the eTrophy? Would you prefer the production version of the I-Pace to be this aggressive or have the spy shots you’ve seen so far proven to be enough? What are your thoughts on Formula E, and will you take the time out of your day to see the one-model series in action? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • * Little info on drivetrain and battery specs
    • * What kind of range will it get on the track?

References

Jaguar I-Pace Concept

2016 Jaguar I-Pace Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Jaguar I-Pace Concept.

Jaguar I-Pace

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Spyshots Exterior
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Read our full review on the Jaguar I-Pace.

Press release

After becoming the first premium manufacturer to enter Formula E in 2016, Jaguar has created the world’s first production battery electric vehicle race series.

2017 Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY High Resolution Exterior
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The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be the support series for the FIA Formula E championship, taking place on the same weekends at the same city circuits, starting in late 2018.

Exclusively featuring Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecars, the new all-electric series gives racers of the future a chance to showcase their talent, competing on the world stage in zero-emissions motorsport.

The groundbreaking championship will support the launch of the Jaguar I-PACE – Jaguar’s highly innovative five-seat battery electric sports car which hits the road in the same year.

Up to 20 electric I-PACE racecars will be on the grid in the centre of 10 races in global cities such as Hong Kong, Paris, Sao Paolo and New York, giving future Formula E stars the chance to race in the world-first series.

The announcement follows news that the British government is to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 and reinforces Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to electrification – from 2020 all new model lines will be electrified, with either hybrid or battery technology.

Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) in Warwickshire, UK, will build the racecars. They will be based on Jaguar’s first battery electric vehicle, the I-PACE performance SUV, which will hit the streets in late 2018.

Gerd Mäuser, Chairman, Jaguar Racing, said: “Jaguar returned to racing in 2016 with the mission ‘Race to Innovate’. With the launch of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY we have strengthened our commitment to battery electric vehicles, international motorsport and Formula E. As a British team, we are proud to announce today the launch of the world’s first production battery electric vehicle championship.”

“We’ve always said we want to prove our electrification technologies on the track – this is the proof. I am looking forward to seeing a full grid of Jaguar I-PACE racecars in late 2018, soon after the first Jaguar I-PACE hits the road in Europe. Ultimately this innovative series will enhance the technology in our future electric vehicles and benefit our customers.

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“Formula E has grown exponentially since we joined as the first premium manufacturer last year, with commitments from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will improve the spectacle for the fans and gives young drivers a ladder into Formula E. We expect our series to be a sell-out and an exciting international sporting event.”

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E, said: “Jaguar has been a welcome addition to Formula E and a fantastic advocate for electric street racing. I’m delighted that in addition to the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team competing on the Formula E grid, we will be adding to our race day schedule with a competitive new support series for season five. The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will bring more entertainment for fans in-between sessions and will be a further testament to the advances in battery technology and exciting electric performance. I hope Jaguar will allow me to bring my race suit and helmet... and maybe get behind the wheel myself!"

Technical specifications, race calendar and costs for the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will be released in 2018.

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