Jaguar was the first premium manufacturer to join Formula E and now it has announced the world's first international championship for I-Pace racecars at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. These are the facts worth knowing.
Electric cars are very much here to stay, especially now that the UK government just set in a stone a date that will see the end of new petrol and diesel-only vehicles by 2040. Jaguar was, however, ahead of the curve with its I-Pace all-electric production car ─ and now a race for them is incoming.
Known as the 'eTrophy', Jaguar's race championship will feature racecar versions of the I-Pace in a fight to the death. Actually, that's a lie but it will be a race to the finish for those who enter. So what is it all about and should you care? Read on.
What is the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy?
The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy championship is a race series for I-Pace racecars that will involve up to 20 cars at 10 races per year in global cities.
Where will the I-Pace eTrophy take place?
Mirroring that of Formula E, the eTrophy will take place in cities around the world as opposed to closed circuits like in Formula One. The race locations mentioned so far are Hong Kong, New York, Rome and Sao Paolo.
When will the I-Pace eTropy take place?
Jaguar says the eTrophy will begin in 'late 2018', just after the first I-Pace production car hits the streets of Europe. Incidentally, 2018 is when the race calendar, technical specifications and costs for being a competitor will be released by Jaguar.
What do I get for entering the I-Pace eTrophy?
WIthout knowing a price, it is hard to work out the value for money side of things. But we do know you get technical support and racecar preparation, global logistics for vehicles, spare parts and equipment, all tyres and consumables, all garaging infrastructure and all championship promotion.
Not only that, entrants will be allocated hospitality and the ability to purchase further places for sponsor guests, championship race wear for each driver and dedicated championship television coverage.
How long will each I-Pace eTrophy race last?
30 minutes per race, so says Jaguar, as well as a free practice and qualifying sessions beforehand so entrants can become acquainted with a circuit and secure themselves a place on the grid.
Who will build the I-Pace racecars?
Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) department will be behind the cars, which will be built in Warwickshire in the UK. How much horsepower and how fast they go is being kept a secret for now, but we doubt they will be a slouch.
What is the point of the I-Pace eTrophy?
Besides maximising the attention of the I-Pace production car and improving desirability of electric cars in general, it will also be a filter for potentially less experienced drivers to slide into Formula E. Technology improvements through testing could also filter down into new cars.
What does Jaguar have to say about it?
"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," said Jaguar Racing chairman, Gerd Mäuser.
"As a British team, we are proud to announce today the launch of the world’s first production battery electric vehicle championship," he added.
So what is Jaguar's stance on electric vehicles?
Alongside the eTrophy announcement, the British manufacturer revealed a plan to make all new Jaguar Land Rovers electrified from 2020.
Will anyone famous enter the I-Pace eTrophy?
Celebrity works for promotion, which is exactly why Jaguar mentioned there will be 'a different VIP driver at every venue'. Exactly who is unclear (assuming Jaguar has even lined anyone up yet), but the odd face from Formula E would make sense given the same electric theme.
What the hell is the Jaguar I-Pace?
Yeah, the name I-Pace is a bit confusing for an electric car (why not the E-Pace, eh?) but that is what it is called so just let it go. For technical details of the car, you can read this ─ Jaguar I-Pace concept: Everything you need to know.
Or you could, you know, stare longingly at the recently unveiled E-Type Zero...