Jaguar Land Rover on Wednesday unveiled its “most advanced and efficient” electric racing car to compete in next season’s Formula E championship, which the firm said will support its broader “all-electric” transition.
The new third generation car — dubbed the I-TYPE 6 — is “lighter, more powerful and faster” than its predecessors, boasting a top speed of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), Jaguar said.
Britain’s biggest carmaker, owned by India’s Tata Motors, is bidding to become a solely all-electric brand by 2025, as a part of outgoing boss’ Thierry Bollore ambitious “Reimagine” strategy.
The entire group is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2039, and is hoping to transfer technology from its Formula E enterprise.
“It’s not about transferring hardware pieces. It’s about building up a body of knowledge,” said its executive director of product engineering Thomas Muller.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the London launch of its new Formula E car, he said development in areas such as its engine and battery management could prove most useful to transfer.
Muller noted the needs of racing and consumer road cars were markedly different, with the I-TYPE 6 concerned with providing “instant power”.
Despite that, the car is “crucial” to the firm’s 2025 all-electric goal, he added.
The brand currently has only one all-electric vehicle, the I-Pace, and it will be 2024 before the next model in the range, as well as Land Rover’s first all-electric model.
The carmaker has recently experienced turbulence, with the resignation in mid-November “for personal reasons” of Bollore.
Meanwhile the global shortage of semiconductor chips has forced it to cut production in the UK.
The volatility of raw material costs and availability have also continued to weigh on the manufacturer, which has been making annual losses since 2019.
Jaguar competed in Formula 1 from 2000 to 2004, and has been involved in Formula E since 2016.
Its New Zealand driver Mitch Evans came second in the world championship last August. (AFP)