Jaguar unveils Formula E vehicle as reports surface of an electric SUV rollout

British automotive giant Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed the design for its upcoming Formula E racing car, while reports have also surfaced suggesting that a fully-electric SUV could be in the pipeline.

After JLR unveiled its plans to break into the world of Formula E – the electric vehicle motorsport championship which returns in October – the motor giant has now unveiled its first all-electric Jaguar racing car that will be used in the upcoming season.

At a launch event at the Jaguar Collections Centre in Warwick, the new I-TYPE 1 made its debut along with the upcoming formula E team. The vehicle’s debut race will be on 9 October following its successful testing programme.

Being Britain’s largest R&D investor, JLR plans to use the technology pioneered in its new racing vehicle to influence the development of the next generation of electric road vehicles as part of the company’s “race to innovate”.

Alongside JLR’s foray into Formula E, the company is venturing back into the commercial EV space, as reports surface that the company’s first all-electric road car – an SUV based on JLR’s EV platform – could launch in 2018.

The SUV, thought to be called the Jaguar E-pace, is the electric counterpart to its existing F-pace SUV. The car has been spotted by Auctocar in trial mode and is expected to be officially revealed by the end of the year.

Chasing the pack

Jaguar’s push into the EV market is representative of an industry-wide shift that has seen Tesla and Nissan lead the pack in electric road vehicle innovation. A number of motor companies are showing an increased interest in taking on the EV leaders, the most recent of which being German carmaker Daimler.

Daimler – The parent company of Mercedes, AMG and Smart – recently announced plans to rollout as many as nine EVs as part of a plan to compete with Tesla directly. The automaker is looking to have these vehicles on the market before 2024.

While JLR might be a little late to the party in its first EV introduction, the company has been incorporating sustainability into its design and manufacturing processes.

Earlier this year, JLR made plans to integrate a sustainable aluminium alloy, containing 75% recycled content, into the manufacturing of all of its vehicles as part of a collaboration with US can recycling firm Novelis.

The company also plans to introduce real-world tests of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) in the UK over the next four years in a bid to reduce congestion, ease driver stress and help prevent road accidents.

Alex Baldwin

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