Jaguar Announces I-PACE eTrophy
The all-electric I-Pace hasn’t hit the roads yet, but already Jaguar has announced the i-Pace eTrophy. Slightly cringeworthy name aside, the racing series will support Formula E races.
The British brand was the first to get themselves a place in the electric open-wheeler series which is growing in popularity.
What’s an I-Pace?
SUVs aren’t really The Redline’s thing, so it’s worth having a quick trip down Jaguar’s high-riding product line. The company’s first SUV was the F-Pace, which went completely ballistic, selling over 80,000 units in its first year. Then the I-Pace was unveiled to much excitement. In the middle of 2017, Jaguar announced its third SUV, the E-Pace. That car will actually reach customers before the I-Pace and is resolutely not electric. But will be in 2020. A bit.
So anyway, the I-Pace is a sort of mid-size SUV but the whole point of it is that it’s Jaguar’s first, and so-far only, fully electric vehicle..
What’s an eTrophy?
Good question. As you can see, the video is all renderings, but the cars look good.
Jaguar says that the company’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) arm will build the I-Pace eTrophy cars at their base in Warwickshire. SVO reckons it will build up to 20 of the race cars and the series will support the FIA Formula E open-wheeler championship from Season 5, which kicks off in late 2018.
Interestingly, Jaguar’s “factory” team was the first big brand to throw itself into Formula E. Mercedes, BMW and Porsche, have each abandoned established race series like DTM and WEC to join Jaguar.
The e in eTrophy is obviously to establish that the racing series is for electric cars only and will only be I-Paces. It’s an interesting play for Jaguar, because SUVs and racing don’t really go together.
The cars certainly look good, but there isn’t much in the way of tech specs for us to pore over. Hopefully the I-Pace can do a whole race distance without the amusing mid-race car change of Formula E (yes, we know there’s only one more season of that, stop showing off).
Jaguar will tell us more during 2018 as first the E-Pace and then I-Pace start finding their way onto owner’s driveways.
Either way, a support race series with chunky SUVs should be great fun for Formula E punters to watch.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.