The very first international racing series for a production electric car to run alongside Formula E won’t be using a sleek sports car or a modified sedan. No, it’s a spec series for the Jaguar I-Pace. Yes. That. The big tall crossover thing. I’m about as shocked as you are—no pun intended, of course.
The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy will run alongside Formula E races as a support series starting with Formula E’s fifth season in 2018-2019. The season will include ten races on the same tracks used by Formula E, and will use Jaguar I-Paces modified for racing by the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations division.
Up to 20 race-modified I-Paces will be available on an arrive-and-drive basis to the well-heeled few, with one I-Pace per race being reserved for a VIP driver. Drivers will get practice and qualifying sessions followed by a 30-minute race, per the early plans for the series.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a series getting started up for a production electric car, however. The Tesla Model S P100D-based Electric GT Championship has been in the works for a while, although their first race has been pushed back two months to November 2017, and the series’ last update was in July.
Jaguar says the move to race the I-Pace came after the British government planned to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2040 and Jaguar’s own pledge to electrify its entire range by 2020. The production I-Pace will go for sale in late 2018.