Jaguar Reveals Its New Formula E Car and Welcomes Nelson Piquet Jr. to the Team

Jaguar also announced an all-electric production car racing series. 

Panasonic Jaguar Racing RE:CHARGE LIVE EVENTWhitely Engineering Centre, Warwickshire, UKThursday 21 September 2017Photo: Andrew Ferraro/LAT/Jaguarref: Digital Image _FER7244
Panasonic Jaguar Racing—Panasonic Jaguar Racing

Panasonic Jaguar Racing unveiled its Formula E car for next season and confirmed its driver lineup on Thursday. Season 4 will start on Dec. 2 and Jaguar will be retaining Mitch Evans and Nelson Piquet Jr. to the lineup to drive its new Formula E car, named the I-Type 2.  Piquet was the series champ in its inaugural season of 2014 to 2015.  

Season 3 (2016-2017) was Jaguar's first in Formula E. Sadly, but maybe not unexpectedly, the team finished last in standings. From there, it can only go up, which is what it aims to do with the new car and the experienced Piquet. 

Ho-Pin Tung will also remain as the team's reserve driver. The new car brings with it a new powertrain, which Jaguar says is much-improved from last season. All the teams use the same chassis and battery pack, which remains the same for the upcoming season. 

It's hard to say how Jaguar will fair in the upcoming season. While the team would love to have a very competitive year with the I-Type 2 and will do everything in its power to do so, the real push is to be ready to for Season 5, which will see big changes for the series

There will be a new chassis and battery pack. Gone will be the car-switching pit stop as the new battery will last the entire race distance. If Jaguar can have a successful Season 4 with its new powertrain, it will be well positioned for Season 5 and the changes it brings. 

Jaguar also talked a little about the I-Pace eTrophy electric racing series that it previously announced. The I-Pace eTrophy series will start in 2018 and will run ten races as a support series to Formula E. It will be a spec series consisting of twenty identical I-Pace SUVs, the all-electric version of the F-Pace. 

Jaguar said it has used what it learned in Formula E to develop the I-Pace powertrain. The eventual consumer I-Pace will have about 400 horsepower and can hit 60 miles per hour in about 4 seconds. The eTrophy version, after being stripped down and prepped for racing will be quicker. The I-Pace is an SUV, so this isn't some little race car we're talking about. It's large but doesn't look out of place on a race track, especially with that wing hanging off the back. 

If anything, watching 20 SUVs racing each other on a track will be entertaining. Hopefully, it will make for good racing as well. It is a pretty quick vehicle that comes with tons of instant torque from its electric motors so it will be "racey." We'll find out in 2018 as the I-pace eTrophy series makes its debut supporting Formula E late in Season 4.