Jaguar is to return to racing in 2016 by entering a team into the all-electric Formula E championship. This move will act as a stepping stone towards Jaguar developing and selling its first electric road cars.
The company last competed in motor sport with a team entered into Formula One between 2000 and 2004. The team was then sold to Red Bull in November 2004 and became the energy drink's own F1 team, which went on to win the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships for four consecutive years between 2010 and 2013.
Nick Rogers, engineering director at Jaguar, said: "In the next five years we will see more technology innovation than in the last three decades – and electrification is our future. We will support our real world electrification plans with a Jaguar entry into the Formula E championship." The season starts in the autumn of 2016.
'The future is about being more connected and more sustainable'
Rogers added: "The championship will enable us to engineer and test our advanced technologies under extreme performance conditions. The future is about being more connected and more sustainable; electrification and lightweight technologies are becoming more important than ever as urbanisation continues to increase. Formula E has recognised and reacted to these trends and the championship's exciting and pioneering approach is the perfect fit for our brand."
The Jaguar Formula E team will partner with Williams Advanced Engineering, which will provide "extensive motor sport knowledge, combined with high performance electric vehicle systems experience and success." Williams worked with Jaguar to produce the C-X75 hyrid concept car which started in the recent James Bond film, Spectre.
Alejandro Agag, chief executive officer of Formula E, said: "We are delighted to welcome Jaguar into Formula E. Jaguar is a brand with a rich sporting heritage and the fact that it is returning to global motor sport with Formula E is a huge endorsement of the championship and its ability to influence the development of electric cars."