Sparks fly as Jaguar Land Rover supplier agrees new racing collaboration

Jaguar I-TYPE electric racing car

West Midlands engineering group, GKN has agreed a multi-year partnership with Jaguar’s electric racing team.

The Redditch-based group, which is a leading supplier to Jaguar parent JLR, will collaborate with Panasonic Jaguar Racing on the design and manufacture of its Formula E series cars.

GKN will also provide consultancy services to the race team.

The official partnership was announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show, in advance of the 2017/18 FIA Formula E championship that starts in Hong Kong in December.

In addition to technical consultancy, GKN will supply new driveshafts and differentials for use on the car, the Jaguar I-TYPE.

GKN’s Birmingham-based Driveline division already has considerable experience in supplying electric vehicle systems and will collaborate on the development of the I-TYPE’s all-electric powertrain.

The GKN logo will also feature on the livery of the 2017/18 I-TYPE race car, as well as driver helmets and suits, team kit and merchandise.

Phil Swash, CEO, GKN Driveline, said: “We have been following the development of Formula E since its inception and have been impressed by how quickly the series has established itself as a competitive and exciting racing series. GKN is excited to be involved in this electric technology showcase and to continue its activities in global motorsport.

“As a world leader in advanced drivelines, lightweight structures and state-of-the-art electrified systems, GKN is proud to join Panasonic Jaguar Racing in its mission to innovate and inspire on the world stage.”

James Barclay, Panasonic Jaguar Racing Team Director, said the team was glad to be collaborating with a company as proficient as GKN.

Formula E continues a racing partnership between GKN and Jaguar, dating back to 1935 when GKN supplied driveline technology to the first SS Jaguar saloon. Today, GKN supplies every Jaguar model on the market with a range of driveline technologies, including high performance CV Joints and intelligent all-wheel drive systems.

In motorsport and Jaguar’s performance cars, GKN driveshafts have featured on almost everything, from the Le Mans-winning C-Type in 1951 to the XJ220.