Autosport has published the first images of Jaguar's Formula E car. The British car manufacturer is joining the all-electric racing series when the third season begins later this autumn. The Jaguar team will take the place of the Trulli Formula E team, which ceased operation after the third race of the second season. This is the first time Jaguar has fielded a motorsport team since the company left Formula One after the 2004 season.
The car was photographed taking laps at Mallory Park Racing Circuit in the UK, which is about an hour away from Jaguar's headquarters in Whitley. Build-wise, the car looks exactly like every other Formula E car, which should come as no surprise — Formula E issues a spec chassis, and the only things that teams are allowed to change are the motors, the rear suspension, and the gearbox and transmission, which are concealed. It doesn't tell us much other than the team is, clearly, already preparing for its debut.
It doesn't tell us much
The car is matte grey, and the only visible accents are a few instances of the phrase "#JaguarElectrifies," which appears in bright blueish-green lettering. Autosport and other outlets have reported that Jaguar plans to reveal the team's full paint scheme at the season two finale of Formula E in London at the beginning of next month.
The team, just like the others, will have two drivers, but Jaguar has not yet revealed their identities. Rumors have swirled that Sam Bird, who currently drives a Formula E car for the DS Virgin Racing team, could be one of them. Other potential targets apparently include Anthony Davidson, who won the World Endurance Championship in 2014 for Toyota, and Alex Lynn, a developmental driver for the Williams Formula One team. Adam Carroll — a reserve driver who has nearly filled in for a few different Formula E teams at a number of races, but has never competed — is also thought to be a possibility.
Being new to the sport, Jaguar has partnered with the Williams Advanced Engineering team in order to get up to speed. The alliance raised some eyebrows when Jaguar initially announced it would be joining the series — Williams was instrumental in creating the first Formula E cars, and currently supplies batteries to the Formula E teams. However, Motorsport.com reported in March that Formula E and its governing body, the FIA, have now put restrictions in place that limit the data Williams Advanced Engineering is allowed to collect from other teams' cars.
As for the automaker side of Jaguar, joining Formula E is a strategic move on a few different levels. It will help the company promote its forthcoming efforts to make electric road cars, something Jaguar admitted was on its roadmap when it announced its entry into the racing series back in December.
With that in mind, the more powerful draw might be the ability to learn about how electric motors, batteries, and drivetrains behave under the extreme conditions the cars experience as they race around street courses around the world. With its second season, Formula E began to allow manufacturers to partner with race teams to develop some of these components, and the move has attracted a fair amount of industry interest. Jaguar will join Citroën DS, Mahindra, Audi, Renault, and McLaren, all of which now have deep ties in the series. BMW and Nissan are rumored to be in talks to join the young racing series as well.