Jaguar Improves I-Pace Thanks to Knowledge From Formula E, I-Pace eTrophy

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【Summary】Thanks to Formula E and the I-Pace eTrophy, both major all-electric racing forms of motorsport that Jaguar competes in, the I-Pace has been updated.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 16, 2020 5:00 AM PT
Jaguar Improves I-Pace Thanks to Knowledge From Formula E, I-Pace eTrophy

It used to be a more common theme, but it's somehow become secluded to supercars and high-performance sports cars. Nearly every automaker would go racing on Sunday and use whatever it learned from an entire season into making advanced powertrains, chassis, and suspension components for road cars. Usually, manufacturers that did well during the season ended up with the best road vehicles. This isn't the case anymore, and if it is, the technology really only makes it to the expensive, exclusive stuff. But, it's starting to become a theme with electric vehicles.

Jaguar Learns From Racing

Formula E and other small all-electric series have really showcased the potential of electric cars. They've also helped any automakers that are competing in the motorsport series to improve their EVs. This is exactly what happened with Jaguar. The British automaker is currently racing in both Formula E and the I-Pace eTrophy and has learned quite a few things that it will be implementing to the road-going I-Pace. The tech and knowledge could even be used in future EVs from Jaguar.

According to a report from Green Car Reports, Jaguar is using things it learned from the all-electric racing series to revamp the 2021 I-Pace. In a recent call with the outlet, I-Pace vehicle integration manager, Steve Boulter, stated that the racing series have been "an amazing testbed" for learning about thermal management in EVs. The result, according to Boulter, has resulted in "a symbiotic relationship" between the cars Jaguar races on tracks and the EVs it sells to the public.

This may seem odd, but racing really does gives automakers a look at things normal, daily driving won't. "In the end, that means it's like a customer's got a full race team behind them as well," said Boulter. "Racing gives us experience and information that we wouldn't otherwise have as engineers."

Apparently, Jaguar's already used the data it's received from racing to improve the I-Pace. The first improvement, according to the outlet, came last December when the EV received updates to how the SUV manages its power and performance. For I-Pace owners in the U.S., they had to go to the dealership to receive the update, but going forward, the EV will feature over-the-air updates.

Changes Coming For 2021 Model Year

For the 2021 model year, which Boulter refers to as the "I-Pace 2.0," the EV is going to benefit from major improvements in both software and hardware. The SUV will be available in the country before the end of the year and will arrive with updates to the vehicle's electrical architecture. One of the more noteworthy features will include the addition of OTA updates. A new infotainment system that's reportedly 85 percent faster than before will also be included.

In terms of hardware upgrades, the 2021 I-Pace will be able to charge at up to 40 amps instead of 32 amps. That means an extra 22 miles of range every hour. When hooked up to a DC fast charger, the I-Pace will be able to add 63 miles of range back in 15 minutes.

These aren't major changes, especially when compared to the ones that Jaguar introduced previous last December, but they certainly reveal that racing helps automakers create better road vehicles – even electric ones. It also means that the I-Pace will continue to stay competitive as new competitors arrive.

According to Boulter, the previous update came directly from data the automaker gathered during Formula E and eTrophy races. More specifically, Jaguar used the data to find that if it changed the torque distribution to 30/70 (front to rear) from 50/50, it could improve efficiency without affecting the SUV's performance. Efficiency was further improved thanks to using more regenerative braking at lower speeds. Jaguar also ensured that the active radiator-vane system was more effective. Lastly, the I-Pace's software in charge of managing the battery was also updated to ensure the battery pack's state of charge can run lower than before.

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