This is one quick Cat
The Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy is a wondrous beast. The first example of an all-electric production vehicle in circuit racing, it's the I-Pace you can pick up from your local dealer, but with a number of tweaks. In the video above we learn what some of those modifications are, plus get a first-drive impression from Autosport's F1 editor Ben Anderson.
Just in case you were unaware, this race-ready machine will see its first competitive action on the 15th of this month. In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a small fleet will take to the track ahead of the Formula E cars and do battle for 25 minutes, plus one lap. An interesting format, to be sure. It is only then that we will see how the effort of engineering the vehicles will pay off.
One interesting bit of information we learn has to do with cooling. The road-going I-Pace has two separate loops for liquid coolant — one for the dual motors and the other for the battery — to keep temperatures under control. For racing, however, that's not quite enough. The solution the Jaguar boffins have found is to use the cold air produced by the cars HVAC system and pump it into the battery pack.
After 10 laps around the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire, England, Anderson comes away seemingly impressed. He says it looks like a proper race car and handles like one as well. Although it seemed plenty quick, the tops speeds were a bit low at 150 kph (93.2 miles per hour). Still, he believes it will be plenty fast for the tight street circuits that Formula E races on.
As a long-time driver of combustion-powered cars, the biggest difference he found was the lack of sound. But, he says, after a few laps that oddness fades away and you tune into the sounds that are there. Oh, and not having to switch gears was also a bit different.
With only a couple weeks before racing begins in earnest, we're looking forward to this Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy series ourselves. We can only hope that the reaction from the public will be as positive as that from drivers.
Jaguar Racing has launched the world’s first international championship for production-based electric cars with a racing version of its I-Pace. From late 2018, the Jaguar I-Pace eTROPHY will be the support series for the FIA Formula E championship. But before the cars head off to Saudi Arabia for round one, our resident racing driver Ben Anderson managed to sneak in a few laps.