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Image credit: Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Jaguar plans a production EV racing series for 2018

It's not just about dedicated electric racers any more.

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Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

To date, watching a full-fledged EV racing series has meant watching custom-built Formula E race cars. They're great to watch, but not exactly reflective of what you can drive on the road. Jaguar aims to fix that. It's launching the first production-based electric vehicle race series, the I-Pace eTrophy, as a support series for Formula E in late 2018. It'll run on the same tracks as Formula E, but it'll rely on (what else?) a track-optimized version of the upcoming I-Pace SUV. Up to 20 drivers will take part in each race in an "arrive and drive" package -- they'll need an international racing license, but Jaguar and the FIA will take care of vehicles and support.

It's safe to say that the eTrophy is a promotional tool. It doesn't have the manufacturer variety of GT-class racing, not to mention the sports cars and performance sedans that you tend to see in most conventional production-based races. Each race is just 30 minutes long, too, so you're not going to see epic-length battles. Still, it's a start. This not only widens the possibilities for electric motorsports, but might draw attention to the performance capabilities of road-going EVs. If you knew that many production EVs could smoke many gas-powered cars, you might be more likely to pick one up -- if just for the bragging rights.

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