Jaguar is betting big on electric vehicles. That’s clearly evident with the new I-Pace electric crossover and the fact that the British automaker jumped into the Formula E fray in 2016. Jaguar is also creating a support series for Formula E. It’s called the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy series, and the race-prepped EV to be used in the series is now set to make its global driving debut ahead of the 2018 BMW i Berlin E-Prix Formula E race on May 19.
Driving the racing version of the I-Pace in Berlin will be Formula E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag. Berlin’s Templehoff Airport will serve as the circuit and it’s being arranged into a nearly 1.5-mile road course. Agag is apparently quite thrilled to pilot this Jag because he knows it’s an important step toward combining a passion for electric road cars with an enthusiasm for the racing itself. “When we launched the eTrophy series, I said I wanted to get behind the wheel and here we are eight months later. This glimpse into the future will be a special moment for the championship as we look ahead to the next generation of electric racing,” he said.
Agag’s drive is only to show off the race vehicle. The racing action, which will feature up to 20 I-Paces, is set to begin later this year.
The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy race car is built by Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO division. It should prove a good means of highlighting what a production-car-based electric race car can do while stealing a bit of thunder away from the circuit’s title sponsor.
Jaguar is also looking to acquire a bit of the marketshare from Tesla. The I-Pace should help do just that, as it’s a luxury crossover in the same vein as the Model X but with a bit smarter pricing (and doors).
The road-going version features a 90-kwh battery pack that feeds a pair of motors and provides 220 miles of range. The motors are found at each axle and they combine to produce 400 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque. The I-Pace will arrive at dealerships later this year with a starting price of $70,495.
The race car, sadly, is not for sale.