Jaguar has announced its triumphant return to international racing, with plans to contest the 2016 Formula E championship. Formula E, in case you didn't know, is a ten-round electric car championship series with races set on the streets of major cities around the world.
The current season concludes with a pair of races in London in July 2016. Jaguar will join when racing resumes for Formula E's third season in fall 2016.
Although Jaguar offers no electrified models now, it plans to get into the electric car game and wants to use Formula E to simultaneously burnish the company's e-car credentials and learn about electric drive as quickly as possible.
"Over the next five years we will see more changes in the automotive world than in the last three decades," observed Nick Rogers, group engineering director for Jaguar Land Rover.
"The future is more about being connected, electrification and lightweight architectures. Formula E enables us to engineer and test advanced technologies under extreme conditions," he said. “Formula E will provide genuine live testing for future electric vehicle powertrain technology, which will appear in our new range of vehicles."
Jaguar's effort will be assisted by Williams Advanced Engineering, the subsidiary of the Williams Formula One team that has provided the battery packs for all of the current Formula E race cars.
“There is a saying that racing improves the breed and Jaguar’s entry into Formula E will be a powerful way of honing a new generation of EV technologies for its products," pledged Craig Wilson, managing director of EV technologies at Williams.
Jaguar has a long history of international racing efforts, including a stint as a Formula One team between 2000 and 2004, but its classic racers are perhaps the company's best-known race cars.