Jaguar Land Rover is set to return to motor racing. A press conference to announce the British car marker’s plans has been scheduled for next week, according to a report from Sky News.
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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The agreement between Land Rover and Bowler is poised to become a collaboration made in rallying heaven and they’re putting their collective feet out to show their first project together, the Bowler EXR Rally Car.
The prototype rally car will sport a ‘Powered by Land Rover’ branding and has been co-designed by Land Rover and Bowler to be the kind of rally car that will put all others to shame. Or so they say.
The EXR uses a modified chassis of the Range Rover Sport and has been fitted with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that you can also find in a number of Range Rover models. The only caveat is that the EXR’s power train is FIA-restricted for racing purposes, which means that output is only limited to 300 horsepower and 428 lb/ft of torque. The EXR is also fitted with a six-speed manual transmission - and option of a Sadev 6-speed sequential transmission is also available - while also carrying Ricardo front, center, and rear differentials.
The EXR rally car will be in attendance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of June were it will be showcased for the first time in full rallying gear.