From Nick Gibbs, Automotive News
Jaguar Land Rover will enter the Formula E electric race car series to test its electric powertrains.
The automaker's Jaguar unit will take part in the third season of Formula E starting late next year.
Formula E racing will help Jaguar Land Rover to further the development of future EV powertrains including motor and battery technology, the company said.
"The championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions," JLR Group Engineering Director Nick Rogers said in the statement.
Neither Jaguar nor Land Rover currently have all-electric vehicles in production. The U.K. magazine Autocar reported in November that Jaguar is working on an electric crossover to go on sale in 2017.
Formula E started in 2014 and is now in its second season. Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s DS Automobiles brand take part in Formula E races. Audi is also involved via its long-term race collaborator ABT.
Despite Jaguar’s rich racing heritage, the brand hasn’t been seriously involved in track competition since previous owner Ford Motor Co. pulled Jaguar from Formula One in 2004 after a largely unsuccessful five years in the sport. India’s Tata Motors bought JLR from Ford in 2008.
JLR will partner with Williams Advanced Engineering, an offshoot of the Williams Formula 1 team, to help build a Formula E car. The two companies have already collaborated on the C-X75 hybrid supercar, which was intended to be a production model until JLR cancelled it in 2012.