Jaguar has announced its return to global motorsport in the autumn of 2016 to the third season of the FIA Formula E Championship as a manufacturer with its own team.
FIA Formula E is the world’s first global single-seater championship for electric powered cars and, according to the company, offers a “unique opportunity” to further the development of future EV powertrains, including motor and battery technology.
Group engineering director for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Nick Rogers commented: “Electric vehicles will absolutely play a role in Jaguar Land Rover’s future product portfolio, and Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies.
“The Championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions.”
Rogers continued: “It is my belief that over the next five years, we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades.
“The future is about being more connected and more sustainable; electrification and lightweight technologies are becoming more important than ever as urbanisation continues to increase.
“Formula E has recognised and reacted to these trends and the championship’s exciting and pioneering approach is the perfect fit for our brand.”
JLR employs more than 8,000 engineers and is the UK’s largest investor in research and development across any business sector.
Jaguar’s Formula E team will draw upon this resource with JLR engineers working closely with the race operations team.
Those engineers will not only be able to apply their knowledge within the race team environment, but crucially use the experience to extract data and push the boundaries of electric technology in a performance environment.
Williams Advanced Engineering will be technical partner to the Jaguar Formula E Team and provide extensive motorsport knowledge, combined with high performance EV Systems experience and success.
JLR has a long term relationship with Williams, who partnered with Jaguar on the development of the Jaguar C-X75 plug-in hybrid concept car.
The team entry has been granted by Formula E and approved by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).
CEO of Formula E, Alejandro Agag said: “We are delighted to welcome Jaguar into Formula E.
“Jaguar is a brand with a rich sporting heritage and the fact that it is returning to global motorsport with Formula E is a huge endorsement of the championship and its ability to influence the development of electric cars.
“Jaguar brings with it a passionate fan base that will drive the popularity of the championship across the world and once again shows that Formula E is the future of motorsport.”
President of the FIA, Jean Todt added: “ We built [Formula E] to offer an alternative competition for manufacturers to step into the sport and develop road-relevant electric technologies.
“The choice of Jaguar to come back to motor racing with Formula E is a proof of success. As it forges a path forward for the future of the electric car, Formula E managed to attract one of the most prestigious and historical brand across the automotive industry.”
According to Jaguar team director, James Barclay, Formula was the “obvious choice” considering the company’s future EV plans.