Claws out: Jaguar joins Formula E

Jaguar Formula E
Many carmakers like to brag about their racing histories, but Jaguar has the goods to back up such boasting. It has multiple Le Mans to its credit, thanks to cars like the D-Type and XJR-9. It must also own up to a disastrous entry into Formula One but, hey, no one’s perfect.

Now, Jaguar is returning to racing in a somewhat unusual way. It’s the latest car manufacturer to enter Formula E, the racing series for electric cars. Jaguar doesn’t sell an electric car right now, but it believes Formula E can help it develop the technologies needed for a possible future production electric vehicle.

“Electric vehicles will absolutely play a role in Jaguar Land Rover’s future product portfolio and Formula E will give us a unique opportunity to further our development of electrification technologies,” JLR engineering director Nick Rogers said in a statement. Determine exactly how much a racing program influences production cars is always tricky, especially in Formula E, where the cars are highly regulated.

While it will have Jaguar stickers on it, the racecar that hits the grid next fall for Formula E’s third season will likely be the same Spark-Renault SRT_01e chassis used by all other teams. Formula E required all cars to be identical for its inaugural 2014 season, although for this season teams were allowed to design their own powertrain components.

Formula E races take place on temporary street circuits around the world. There are already a few manufacturers backing teams, including Audi, DS (Citroën), Mahindra, and Renault. Jaguar will collaborate with Williams Advanced Engineering on its entry. That outfit is the engineering arm of the Williams F1 team, and helped Jaguar develop the aborted C-X75 plug-in hybrid supercar that recently appeared in the James Bond movie Spectre.

Jaguar has shown some interest in electric cars before. Earlier this year, the British firm and partner Land Rover showed a prototype electric vehicle, along with a mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Last year, it also tried to trademark the name “EV-Type,” fueling speculation that it was planning an electric sports car to complement the current F-Type.

Cars

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.
Cars

Florida allows autonomous cars to drive on its roads without human supervision

Florida governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that establishes a legal framework for self-driving cars to operate within the state. It allows car and tech companies to test self-driving cars without a human operator behind the wheel.
Cars

Watch as Volkswagen’s ID R racer wins the ultimate EV bragging rights

The Volkswagen ID R has set a lap record for electric cars at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The electric race car's lap time of 6 minutes, 5.33 seconds beat the previous record by 40 seconds.
Cars

Electrify America car chargers at Walmarts aim to help the heartland go electric

Volkswagen-owned Electrify America has teamed up with Walmart to build electric car charging stations in America's heartland. The partnership is aimed at putting an end to range anxiety, while helping rural motorists go electric.
Cars

Will Detroit be the ultimate test for Argo A.I.’s self-driving Ford?

Ford-backed Argo A.I. revealed its third-generation autonomous prototype in Detroit. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the car is fitted with technology that sees better and further, thinks faster, and is more comfortable to ride in.
Product Review

The last American midsize plug-in hybrid is being squeezed out of existence

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can’t catch a break. Ford is planning to discontinue production next year, but looming tariffs could spell doom for an otherwise comfortable and very economically sensible sedan.
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Cars

Volvo has created an autonomous truck that looks like a sports car

Volvo’s autonomous truck, called Vera, is about to start work at a Swedish port. The vehicle has a modest top speed of 25 mph and features a striking design that makes it look as if the usual cab has been swapped for a sports car.
Cars

New Toyota tech will automatically shut off engines, apply parking brakes

Toyota is launching two new safety features for the 2020 model year. One will automatically shut off a car's engine when stationary, and the other will automatically shift into park and apply the parking brake to prevent rollaways.
Cars

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Cars

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!