In the Race To Innovate, We All Win
You’ve probably been hearing of Formula E for a while now – the electric global version of Formula 1 racing that has car companies and racing teams jumping into the electric car race. British luxury automotive brand Jaguar Land Rover is at the forefront of this with the development of street-legal electric race vehicles like the I-Pace, which was showcased during the just-concluded Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy series which runs alongside Formula E.
Drivers, like 40-year-old British native Katherine Legge, each in a Jaguar I-Pace, showcase their skills in a fully electric vehicle. This is not only a game changer for racing, but helps to continue electric vehicle innovations for consumers. Jaguar uses what is learned on the race track to develop cars for everyday driving and to further push development of electric vehicles for everyone, not just motorsports.
Katherine Legge: British Driver for a British Car
A British driver whose inspiration to race came to her when she was in Spain go-karting with her family, is seen in races every year on teams and tracks around the world. Her driving skills were honed and racing was encouraged by her dad as something to bond over and to “keep [me] out of trouble,” she told us. Katherine grew to aspire to be a Formula 1 driver and came close to achieving that dream by being one of the first women to test a Formula 1 vehicle. Now, with over 40 races – from Indy to Nascar – under her belt, Katherine continues to race anywhere she can. “I just want to drive,” she said, so she pursues any race or team that will let her do that. Including the Jaguar i-Pace eTrophy.
Legge suffered a setback recently when her car crashed during testing at Le Mans in July. She broke her leg and wrist, but don’t expect her to be off the track for long.
Formula E Electrifies Racing
Katherine Legge drove the Jaguar I-Pace in the eTrophy Formula E series for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, last summer on the streets of Brooklyn, NY. Imagine, being able to legally race electric vehicles through New York City streets? Katherine could not believe it either. But, for at least a decade she has wanted to drive for Bobby Rahal, owner of Letterman Lanigan Racing, so when the got the opportunity she took it.
The Track as an Innovation Lab for Electric Vehicles
Katherine is also excited to be part of the innovation and growth of electric vehicles that Jaguar develops from its eTrophy and Formula E experience. The Jaguar I-Pace is the luxury automotive brand’s first all-electric vehicle, and not only wins races, it was recognized as the 2019 World Car of the Year, World Design Car of the Year and World Green Car of the Year by World Car Awards. The I-Pace has two electric motors providing a combined horsepower of 394 and 512 torque, giving drivers, whether racing or commuting, quick acceleration and a fun drive experience.
The I-Pace features a 90-kW battery pack with a driving range of 253 miles, but expect that range to increase soon. This year, Jaguar was able to increase the range of the battery in its race cars. In past years, teams raced two cars, swapping one for the other when the battery depleted. For the first time, they were able to complete the race with a single vehicle.
Engineers are also innovating faster charging times; they were able to increase charging by about a third in are cars; that technology will roll out in Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles soon. Innovations like these are courtesy of the Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy series, which reinforces Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to electric street racing and as well as the development of future electric consumer vehicles as part of its ‘Race to Innovate’ mission.
Yes, You Can Have Your Own Street Legal Race Car
Drivers who want an innovative race car experience can have it. The Jaguar I-Pace is available in three trim levels, with the base S trim starts at $70,875; the mid-level SE starts at $77,275, and the HSE starts at $81,925. And inside you’ll find innovations, too. The I-Pace has a sublimely designed interior, a panoramic sunroof with a unique glass treatment that lets in the sun but prevents the cabin from heating up, and Jaguar’s elegant infotainment system. Because better batteries and faster cars aren’t truly innovative unless these cars are a pleasure to drive, too.