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From track to road, electric Jaguar demonstrates new art of performanceFrom track to road, electric Jaguar demonstrates new art of performance

Updated: 2019-04-03


British premium marque Jaguar is charging to the fore with its racing DNA and leading technology in the world's first championship for mass-produced electric cars, as part of its commitment to electrification and race-to-innovate mission.

The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship, named after the brand's I-PACE eTROPHY racecar, is the official support series to the FIA Formula E for three seasons, according to the company.

The championship made its debut on the Chinese mainland on Saturday in Sanya, Hainan province, electrifying thousands of audience with its unique charm. Yaqi Zhang, a driver of Jaguar China team, was the runner-up of the PRO-AM group.

"We fulfill our race-to-innovate commitment and actively participate in top racing events," said Pan Qing, member of the board of management of Jaguar Land Rover and executive director of Jaguar Land Rover China, on Friday.

Paul Hu, executive vice-president of marketing and product marketing at the Integrated Marketing Sales and Service of Jaguar Land Rover China and Chery Jaguar Land Rover, unveils Jaguar's Year of Racing with James Barclay, team director of Panasonic Jaguar Racing, in Sanya, Hainan province on Friday. [Photos provided to China Daily]

"Based on the Formula E and the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship, we will continuously enhance our capabilities and expertise in electrification research and development, to make new breakthroughs and to continue to lead in terms of new energy vehicles."

Jaguar was the first premium manufacturer to join Formula E, with its I-TYPE racecar taking part back in October 2016. Unlike most other teams, however, Jaguar's goal is more than just titles.

"We design models for races, collect data and statistics from them and use them in the development of road cars," said Paul Hu, executive vice-president of marketing and product marketing at the Integrated Marketing Sales and Service of Jaguar Land Rover China and Chery Jaguar Land Rover.

He said the electric I-PACE coupe-style SUV has benefited a lot from test results and driving experiences accumulated from Jaguar's participation in Formula E.

"Making the most of the experiences, we transfer technology from racecars to road cars. With our outstanding design and engineering expertise, we are rendering the art of performance at Jaguar," he said.

As the brand's first all-electric model, the I-PACE is engineered to take full advantage of its electric powertrain and bespoke aluminum architecture, offering sports car performance and SUV practicality.

It runs up to 456 kilometers on a single charge and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds.

Again, the road car is then put onto the track. Jaguar said although the I-PACE eTROPHY has optimized its weight and exterior to meet the needs of the racetrack, it has shared the same structure, electric motor, battery and inverter of the marketed I-PACE, which shows the prowess and capability of the award-winning model.

The I-PACE has received more than 50 major awards worldwide since it was revealed a year ago, including German, Norwegian and UK Car of the Year, BBC Top Gear magazine EV of the Year, China Green Car of the Year and Autobest's ECOBEST Award.

The Jaguar I-PACE eTrophy Championship also heralded the brand's Year of Racing in 2019, according to the carmaker.

Hu said it will consist of a series of Jaguar Day activities, including test driving on tracks or track-simulators at central business districts in more than 130 cities, enabling Chinese customers to better experience Jaguar's excellent driving and handling.

Such activities will better demonstrate Jaguar's racing DNA that has been evident from top racing events ranging from the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the Formula One and the Formula E.

Jaguar claimed seven championships in the history of the Le Mans. In 1951, the C-Type finished the race with an absolute advantage of 45 minutes over the runner-up.

The R3, which was developed in the early 2000s, has been hailed as the most beautiful Formula One racecar. In the Formula E, Jaguar is the only auto manufacturer to develop the powertrain of Gen2 racecar by itself, and its I-TYPE is known as one of the fastest cars.

Besides, Jaguar will also launch three Checkered Flag edition models. The first one, an F-TYPE, is to come at the Shanghai auto show in April, which is expected to help kindle people's enthusiasm with racing.

Hu said Jaguar's participation in Formula E and the Jaguar eTROPHY will also help to reinforce Jaguar Land Rover's electrification campaign.

Jaguar Land Rover announced in 2017 that every new Jaguar Land Rover model will have an electric option from 2020, giving the customers even more choice. "We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles," said the carmaker.

As more electrified vehicles are to be introduced into China as well, Hu said a new sales model is in need to ensure success. "Electric cars, especially premium ones, need 'all-in' efforts. Otherwise, it will not succeed. Therefore we will need a dedicated team and we are coming up with a new model in coming months," said Hu.