As the press formed a scrum around the new Discovery on Jaguar Land Rover’s stand at the Paris motor show last week, another car, mounted vertically on its display stand and turning slowly, was virtually ignored.
Which is weird, because it was a far more significant model, for many reasons: the Jaguar I-type. Yes, this is Jaguar’s first foray into serious motorsport since its Formula One attempt ended in 2004. The I-type will compete in the new season of Formula E, which started on October 9 in Hong Kong. At the wheel are Adam Carroll and Mitch Evans, who will line up against the likes of Nick Heidfeld, Lucas di Grassi, Sebastien Buemi and Nelson Piquet jnr.
I talked to James Barclay, team director of Panasonic Jaguar Racing, about his expectations for the season. But first off, why has Jaguar chosen Formula E for its return to motorsport? The reception for the championship so far has been mixed. For some (myself included), it casts F1 into the shade in terms of entertainment and innovation, while others find the electric powertrains and street circuits dull.