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Jaguar returns to Formula racing with an electric car

Jaguar unveiled its electric race car at the Paris auto show this week, confirming that Jaguar and and Land Rover are considering electric cars for their future.

Much of the Paris auto show this year was about electric vehicles. Jaguar used the platform to champion its return to Formula racing. After more than a decade away from Formula One, Jaguar is once again taking to the track only this time in Formula E.

The sleek beauty is called the I-TYPE 1. Jaguar Racing will debut the electric race car in the third FIA Formula E season. The first race of the season is October 9th, in Hong Kong.

According to Jaguar,” The brand’s commitment is to ‘Race to Innovate’ – a mission to change the perception of electric vehicles, to develop new electric technology and to inspire future generations.” The key phrase there is that they are using the racer to help Jaguar and Land Rover develop new electric technology. There have been rumors that Land Rover is working on a small electric SUV.

Nick Rogers, the head of engineering for both Jaguar and Land Rover says in a statement, “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.”

Jaguar will work with Williams Advanced Engineering for the Formula E race car. They worked together before on the Jaguar C-X75 hybrid supercar.

Jaguar and Land Rover are now owned by Tata, an Indian company. Ford sold the pair to Tata when the automaker sold off its premiere group during the financial crisis. Jaguar and Land Rover still claim to be the UK’s leading investor in automotive research and development, employing more than 8,000 engineers. Jaguar says “Those engineers will not only be able to apply their knowledge within the race team environment but, crucially, use the experience to extract data that will directly aid the development of Jaguar’s future electric cars.”

The team will officially be called Panasonic Jaguar Racing and the drivers will be Adam Carroll, Mitch Evans and Ho-Pin Tung will be a reserve driver. While in Formula One, Jaguar won the 24 Hour of Le Mans race 7 times.

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