Our first taste of Jaguar’s electric I-Pace SUV on UK roads – how does it stack up versus a Tesla Model X?
Jaguar’s tyre-shredding skunkworks super saloon, the XE SV Project 8, has smashed another sedan lap record, following its seven minute, 21 second time at the Nurburgring last year.
This time, the American Laguna Seca circuit was the target, with a one minute, 37 second time achieved by presenter and racer, Randy Pobst.
The supercharged 600 horsepower XE beat the previous record at the 2.2-mile circuit, set by the Cadillac CTS V, by just under a second. The Project 8 is more than two seconds a lap quicker than an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadafoglio.
Jaguar calls the Project 8 “the most extreme Jaguar yet produced”. And when you look at the lengths gone to creating it, that statement seems a bit of an understatement.
Video: Jaguar XE SV Project 8 on-track
Project 8 comes in left-hand-drive only, due to the tight fit of that supercharged V8 under its bonnet. The significant widening of the car at the rear required a total redesign of the rear doors; a great undertaking for what is a comparatively tiny 300-car production run. Still, it needed to be more than a quick engine swap for nearly £150,000 ($200,000)…
“This Laguna Seca lap record is another powerful demonstration of the Jaguar XE SV Project 8’s performance credentials,” said Michael van der Sande, MD of JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.
“Designed, engineered and hand-assembled by Special Vehicle Operations, this record-breaking sedan is made for the world’s most demanding driving enthusiasts.”
Jaguar Land Rover has announced a range of retro-styled infotainment systems for its classic models, following the lead of Porsche. It brings sat-nav and digital music to cars that were designed long before such technology existed.
Jump in an E-type or Land Rover with the new infotainment fitted and you’ll be hard pressed to spot it straight away. Unless, of course, you’ve just been in an identical car without it. Needless to say, it’s not a simple case of plonking a Tesla-style tablet where the beautiful dashboard of a classic Jag used to be.
What is it and what do you get?
Nestled cleverly in existing dead space on the dashboard, the 3.5-inch high-definition touchscreen is minimally invasive, with analogue – and vintage-style – control knobs either side. It features DAB, FM and AM radio, plus Bluetooth connectivity, sat-nav and smartphone integration.
The system costs £1,200 and is available now. As for fitment, the JLR Classic Works in Warwickshire is the obvious go-to. However, if that’s a bit too far, selected retailers will be trained to fit it.
Is it wrong to fit modern tech to classic cars?
Much like an old country cottage, the rustic heart-over-head appeal of classic cars is often too much to ignore. When you get inside, though, the lack of modern accoutrements can turn the rose-tinted dream into a bit of a nightmare.
That’s not to say that you’d slather your lovely rustic property in solar panels (so to speak).The integration of modernity should be subtle and tasteful, and there’s an inherent appeal in clever, sympathetic installations. This JLR system is just that.
Purity and true-to-period presentation are all well and good when bragging in the pub. When it comes to one’s own usage, though, most would be hard pressed to turn down a few modern luxuries. We wouldn’t say no.
No, you’re not watching Disney Pixar’s Cars. Jaguar Land Rover really is putting eyes on cars, albeit for the purposes of research into pedestrian trust of autonomous cars.
You won’t be seeing Range Rovers with big eyes on the windscreen anytime soon, though. The “virtual eyes” are only being fitted to self-driving pod research vehicles… for now.
It may sound quite amusing but it’s a chuckle-worthy means to a rather serious end – developing the software and modifying the ‘behaviour’ of autonomous cars so they’re better prepared to deal with the unpredictable, very human-infested world of commuting.
The project is the baby of a team of cognitive psychologists, hired by Jaguar Land Rover to find out more about how vehicle behaviour affects people’s confidence in new technologies. The autonomous pods are to drive around makeshift streets in Coventry while the behaviour of pedestrians is analysed.
This is where the ‘eyes’ come in, as the pods make ‘eye contact’ with nearby pedestrians on their travels. That, in theory, should put that passer-by at ease: making eye contact with the ‘eyes’ acknowledges they’ve been recognised by the car.
Trust levels are recorded in instances with and without use of the ‘eyes’, presumably to result in pedestrians trusting in the car that’s ‘seen’ them more.
JLR is carrying out the study in response to previous studies which have suggested that nearly two in three pedestrians and cyclists say they’d feel less safe sharing the streets with self-driving cars.
“It’s second-nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road. Understanding how this translates in tomorrow’s more automated world is important” said Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover.
“We want to know if it is beneficial to provide humans with information about a vehicle’s intentions or whether simply letting a pedestrian know it has been recognised is enough to improve confidence.”
Jaguar Land Rover has launched a car subscription service aimed at high-mileage drivers. The new venture is called Carpe and is available in the UK now.
Prices for the all-inclusive, unlimited-motoring packages start from £910 (excluding VAT) per month for a standard Jaguar E-Pace (pictured above). A Range Rover Sport HSE is the priciest car on the scheme, at £2,200 a month, again ex. VAT.
The package runs for 12 months and users don’t need to put down a deposit. JLR says it’s being aimed specifically at high-mileage UK drivers who are busy and spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
Turning over the cars each year will help keep mileages in check (despite the scheme coming with no mileage restrictions), and also ensure users don’t get bored driving the same car year after year. Cars don’t have to be off the shelf, either – they can be individually specified.
Included in the subscription deal is servicing, maintenance, insurance, roadside assistance and delivery.
InMotion Ventures is running the Carpe subscription service for JLR. Its MD Sebastien Peck said: “We know there is an appetite for unlimited motoring packages and demand is growing rapidly for subscription services that better meet individual needs.”
He said Carpe is perfect for those who like premium cars, but not the inflexible contracts that come with them. “We aim to give our customers as much flexibility, freedom and choice as we can.”
Want to find out more? Check out www.carpedrive.com. If it’s a success, adds JLR, it might consider expanding its tailored subscription packages further.
“Prepare a list of the 10 most beautiful Jaguars,” they told me. A bit of a poisoned chalice this one, because many will disagree with the choices. But, I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge – I finished second in the school 100m race – so here are my choices, starting with something obvious beginning with the letter ‘E’.
Enzo Ferrari’s quote about the Jaguar E-Type has been repeated so many times, it must be true. As has Frank Sinatra’s “I want that car and I want it now” comment upon seeing the E-Type for the first time.
There are many unwritten rules in motoring writing, such as linking the Reliant Scimitar to Princess Anne, or mentioning the seven-year warranty within the opening paragraph of any Kia new car review. Similarly, one must also include the E-Type in any feature focused on the world’s most beautiful cars.
Of the car, LJK Setright said: “even two years after production had begun in 1961, [the E-Type] could still turn more heads than a platoon of poachers in a poultry farm. It fitted like a glove, went like the wind, looked like a million dollars, and sold for little more than a couple of thousand pounds”.
Malcolm Sayer didn’t set out to design the world’s most beautiful car, the styling was merely a byproduct of the aerodynamicist’s desire to go fast. Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum claims: “Malcolm Sayer shaped the E-Type with absolutely pure geometric lines. He wasn’t driven by aesthetics for the sake of it, he was trying to build something that was shaped by mathematics. That’s how he built his cars up and their beauty is determined by purity and simplicity.”
But here’s the thing: is the E-Type really the most beautiful car in the world? Is it even the most beautiful Jaguar? If one Jag can rival the E-Type for its beauty, it’s the XK120. Here was a sports car that, in 1948, was so beautiful, it was responsible for spearheading the British sports car’s invasion of the US.
In his book Jaguar Sports Cars, Paul Skilleter tells the story of how Sir William Lyons designed the body shell in less than two weeks, with the prototype completed just in time for the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1948. Sir William is quoted as saying: “because it was done more quickly than anything before or since, and I could compare weeks, almost days, with years and it was not altered from the first attempt”.
In May 1949, a group of journalists were flown to Belgium to witness a high-speed run on the Jabbeke-Aeltre autoroute. With timing under the control of the Belgian RAC, an XK120 with the roof and side screens in place recorded a speed of 126.448mph mean. Later, with the windscreen replaced with an aluminum cowl, and a tonneau cover over the passenger seat, the XK120 achieved 132.596mph.
In truth, the XK120 looked a tad awkward with its roof in place, but with the top down it is simply beautiful and beautifully simple. Two years after the launch of the roadster, Jaguar unveiled a coupe version, while the later XK140 and XK150 models are no less alluring.
“The XJ6 was profound. It had so much visual power,” said Ian Callum in an Autocar interview. “The wheels were enormous. Nobody had seen anything like them before. They filled the whole body. I remember collecting a brochure from the local dealer and going back the next day for another. I still have them both.”
Jaguar began work on Project XJ4 in 1963/64, before unveiling the XJ6 at the British Motor Show in 1968. The quad headlight were evolved from the MkX, while the flared arches were filled with wide wheels and Dunlop high-performance tyres, designed especially for the XJ6. The overall result is an imposing yet elegant four-door saloon, with a design that evolved gracefully until the first radical overhaul in 2009.
But if you’re looking for the glamour model of the XJ6 range, look no further than the XJ Coupe, or XJ-C. Unveiled in 1973, the XJ-C was introduced in 1975, before production ended in 1977. Jaguar claims that “without realising it, [it] had created what would become one of the most desirable and rare XJs, with little over 10,000 completing production.”
In reality, the XJ-C was a commercial failure, hampered by poor refinement and a price tag that made it more expensive than the saloon. The XJS was another factor in its early demise, with the replacement for the E-Type arriving in 1975. But given the choice between the XJS and the XJ-C, many would opt for the latter.
To some people, the Mk2 is the archetypal Jaguar. The E-Type might be the most beautiful and the XJ220 the most dramatic, but the ‘mark-two Jag’ is the quintessential four-door Jaguar, a status helped in no small part by the likes of Inspector Morse and Jack Regan.
Although it evolved from the Mk1, the Mk2 of 1959 was far better looking than its predecessor, with Sir William Lyons using a deeper windscreen, more glass and a wider rear track to create the ultimate sports saloon. At the time, it was Jaguar’s most successful model, with a total production of 83,701 units.
In 3.8-litre guise, the Mk2 offered a top speed of 125mph, sprinting to 50mph in 6.4 seconds. This made it the ideal car for a game of cops and robbers, with the Mk2 winning favour on both sides of the law. Famously, the Jaguar Mk2 was used as a getaway car in the Great Train Robbery.
The Mk2 also had a formidable competition history, both in touring car racing and rallying. In other words, the Jaguar Mk2 had it all: a beautiful, if slightly caddish, four-door saloon.
The D-Type was built to win Le Mans, something it did no fewer than three times. With such a tight brief, the issue of aesthetics would sit close to the bottom of the list of priorities, so it’s all the more remarkable that Malcolm Sayer created one of the most iconic shapes of the 1950s.
Few cars have an aura and presence quite like the D-Type: it looks like it’s hurtling along the Mulsanne Straight, even when it’s stood still.
The bodies were developed using 1/10th scale models in a wind tunnel, with Jaguar focused on reducing drag, minimising the effects of side winds and the impact of wind pressure. Amazingly, although it was rarely the most powerful car to line up at Le Mans, it was usually the quickest along the Mulsanne Straight.
The famous stabilising fin was riveted onto the team cars just before the 1954 Le Mans race, while the windscreen added a dash of comfort for the driver. Today, 62 years after the last example was built, Jaguar Classic is restarting production of the D-Type. Just 25 examples will be hand-built in Warwickshire.
The XJ13 – or eXperimental Jaguar 13 – shares nothing in common with the XJ saloon and is arguably the most beautiful race car never to turn a wheel in competition. It looks like a direct descendant of the D-Type, which is no surprise given Malcolm Sayer’s role in its development.
The car was developed in secret, with Jaguar planning a return to Le Mans. But by the late 1960s, the British Motor Corporation (BMC) – which merged with Jaguar in 1966 – was more focused on the XJ6, meaning the XJ13 had to be developed out of hours.
The XJ13 was completed in 1966, but stood idle for a year before being taken out for its first trial. At the time, the existence of the XJ13 was a closely guarded secret, with Jaguar completing the first run at Mira early on a Sunday morning. The trial was successful, but the V12-engined XJ13 was too slow to compete against Ferrari, Ford and the Porsche 917.
It lived under a dust cover until 1971, when it was rolled out to take part in a promotional film for the Jaguar E-Type V12. However, after a few too many laps, one of the ageing tyres deflated under load, resulting in a catastrophic crash. Driver Norman Dewis was unhurt, but there wasn’t a straight panel left on the XJ13. Fortunately, the car was rebuilt and is still run today.
SS Jaguar 100
“Widely considered one of the most aesthetically pleasing sporting cars of the 1930s”, says Wikipedia. Jaguar’s roots lie in the Swallow Sidecar Company, with Sir William Lyons adopting the SS name in 1931. What did it stand for? Peter Skilleter’s book claims that the subject was never resolved, arguing that it could be Standard Swallow or Standard Special.
The use of Jaguar stems from when Lyons asked his publicity department to draw up a list of animal, fish and bird names. “I immediately pounced on ‘Jaguar’ for it had an exciting sound to me, and brought back memories of the stories told to me, towards the end of the 1914-1918 war”, said Lyons, specifically the Armstrong Siddeley ‘Jaguar’ engine.
Whatever the history of the SS and Jaguar names, there can be doubts surrounding the use of ‘100’ for the sports car launched in 1935, which referred to the theoretical 100mph top speed. Only 191 examples of the 2.5-litre SS 100 were built, but it laid the foundations for a future of Jaguar sports cars.
The XKSS was originally made by Jaguar as a road-going version of the Le Mans-winning D-Type, built between 1954 and 1956. Nine cars earmarked for export to North America were lost in a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory, meaning just 16 examples were built.
Some claim that the XKSS was merely a car built to shift unsold stock of the D-Type, but the result was an achingly good looking sports car, even with a ‘proper’ windscreen, cutaway doors and a hood. There was no fin, as buyers were treated to a luggage rack.
In 2016, Jaguar announced that it would build the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sport cars, with each one sold for a price in excess of £1 million.
“The XKSS is one of the most important cars in Jaguar’s history, and we are committed to making the ‘new original’ version absolutely faithful to the period car in every way. From the number, type and position of all the rivets used – there are more than 2,000 in total – to the Smiths gauges on the dashboard, everything is the same as the original cars, be-cause that is the way it should be,” said Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic.
This will prove to be a controversial selection, but like a good wine, the Jaguar XJ-S (latterly the XJS) seems to get better with every passing year. It many ways it was doomed to failure, because replacing the E-Type was like stepping into Alex Ferguson’s shoes at Manchester United, or the Beatles creating a follow up to Please Please Me.
Alongside the E-Type, it may have looked too big, too much of a grand tourer, maybe even too ugly. But the E-Type hadn’t exactly grown old gracefully, and against the Series 3 the XJ-S felt more of its time.
The most controversial element of the styling were the flying buttresses, which were designed to add strength and improve high-speed stability. The press hated them, but they became one of the car’s most eye-catching features.
The XJ-S died in 1991, by which time it had evolved into a graceful and elegant grand tourer. Work began on a factory convertible in 1985, with Karmann handling the conversion. The XJ-S convertible – which was incredibly popular in the US – is arguably the most beautiful of the breed.
“On-road presence? I’ve never driven a car that turned more heads. Svelte styling? Have you ever seen a more beautiful front end, or a more shapely profile?” asked Gavin Green when writing for Car magazine in 1992.
All too often, stories about the XJ220 are accompanied by tales of the economic recession, the wrong engine and unhappy customers. When viewed purely on the basis of aesthetics, it’s striking enough to upstage the Sydney Opera House.
The styling was influenced by the XJ13, with Jaguar using a quarter-scale model for testing at MIRA’s wind tunnel. “It was scary – the thing looked the size of a house. You can’t scale the sense of scale! I actually felt guilty, too: we’d made the aluminium body panel beaters’ job so hard. Luckily, they disagreed and said it was the highlight of their careers – they’d never been stretched so much,” said Keith Helfet, the man responsible for the styling.
Do you agree with our choices? Maybe not, but then beauty is subjective. Here are four cars that failed to make the cut…
The ones that got away
This is what’s commonly referred to as hedging your bets: chucking a few more Jags in the pot for good measure. Working clockwise from top left: Lynx Eventer, C-X75, XK and C-Type. Needless to say, the Queen will be sad to see that there’s no place for the X-Type estate…
This is not a normal, full-blooded drive of a new car. If you think you’ve seen a review of the Jaguar I-Pace elsewhere (before June 2018), well, the writers are being economical with the truth.
The truth is that Jaguar whisked a bunch of journalists from the Geneva Motor Show to a small driving-school test track at the end of the airport runway nearby. This would be a 10-minute ‘experience’, rather than a proper first drive.
What can I tell you from 10 minutes? Quite a lot, as it happens. Firstly, the I-Pace looks great in the metal, on the road and out in the open air. Falling between the Jaguar E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs in terms of size, it’s much swoopier than either.
— Motoring Research (@Editorial_MR) March 1, 2018
This recent trend of the SUV morphed into a coupe has been promulgated by BMW and Mercedes-Benz, who have managed to turn out whole families of shockingly ugly designs that offer nothing over the vehicles from which they were derived.
A special, premium SUV
The I-Pace is a bit special, though, and you’ll surely be happy if you’ve already put your money down. The interior lives up to the promise, too. It feels properly premium with no sign of lightweight features there to compensate for the
weight of all those batteries.
It also drives very well – at least up to 50mph. There’s 400hp, which translates into acceleration that can shame a supercharged Jaguar F-Type.
On the wet track the grip was prodigious – I stuck the chassis into its Dynamic setting and simply floored it wherever possible. The i-Pace hunkered down, the four-wheel drive did its thing and the steering simply seemed connected to my
First impressions are good
The seats feel comfortable and very supportive, but while rear space looks pretty good, those seats are incredibly flat and rather close to the floor.
How far will it really travel on a full battery, when it’s cold and wet? I suspect not the 300 miles quoted, although there are some clever features that, for example, allow you to warm up the battery (and the interior) while the car is still plugged in, making a major difference to the range.
The jury is necessarily still out. A full appraisal is needed and we’d be even happier to know how those first customers get on over the first 12 months.
Still, there seem to be many who are excited enough to put there cash down right now, and we can hardly blame them.
Lister will launch the fastest, most powerful and luxurious car it has ever built at next month’s Historic Motorsport International, staged at London’s ExCeL.
The Jaguar F-Type-based Lister Thunder uses the showroom 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine to deliver a devilish 666bhp, enough to send the firm’s first modern-day road car since the Storm of 1993 to a top speed of 208mph. The 0-62mph sprint is polished off in just 3.2 seconds.
It won’t come cheap: Lister is asking £139,950 for the thunderous F-Type, and the Cambridgeshire-based company will build just 99 examples. Lister hopes to use its heritage and cars like the Thunder to become synonymous with tuned Jaguars.
A new era of vehicle tuning has arrived in the form of the Lister Thunder. 208mph, 0-60 in just over 3 seconds and a devilish 666bhp. Watch the launch video here: https://t.co/9ZOZLCDjL0 pic.twitter.com/lN4Pf3LXBp
— Lister (@ListerCars) January 31, 2018
Lawrence Whittaker, CEO of Lister Motor Company, said: “Like Brabus and AMG with Mercedes and Alpina with BMW, we are hoping to become synonymous once again with tuning Jaguar vehicles, giving customers new enhanced, bespoke performance and design alternatives to Jaguar’s acclaimed model programme.
“Although we are not directly affiliated with Jaguar Land Rover, Lister has a Jaguar tuning heritage dating back 65 years. Our new Lister Thunder is the fastest and most powerful Lister ever created, with a 208mph top speed and 0-100 time of just 6.8 seconds. I am utterly proud of what we have achieved, and the Thunder is just the beginning!”
The firm already builds continuation models at its factory in Cambridge, including the Stirling Moss Edition: an exact replica of the super-lightweight Lister Knobbly driven to victory by Moss at Silverstone in 1958. But the Thunder is more in-line with the V12-engined Storm of 1993 and the Le Mans of 1986.
Lister will release the full specification of the Thunder at the car’s unveiling in February, but the company has confirmed some details. The carbon fibre front bumper is custom-made and includes an extended splitter for added downforce. Lister vents adorn the bonnet, while the grille centre, decals and callipers match the customer’s desired interior combination.
The rear bumper is also carbon fibre and houses enlarged carbon exhaust tips that are said to deliver a “thundery note when pressed”. The rear badge is made from solid brass and chromed, presumably because that’s what customers expect from their 208mph F-Type.
The Thunder’s cabin is finished in Bridge of Weir Nappa leather, available in 36 colours, with Lister logos stitched into the headrests and seat pattern, matching the front grille.
Lawrence Whittaker has high hopes for the future, saying: “We came to the inaugural ExCel show last year and it was one of the best shows we have attended, quickly selling a new Knobbly whilst on the stand!
“That is why we have chosen this year’s follow-up event at ExCel to launch the exciting new Lister Thunder, which will mark the first car from our revised Jaguar tuning programme.”
What else can we expect from Lister? With the popularity of crossovers and SUVs, would tuned versions of the F-Pace and E-Pace be a stretch for a brand steeped in motorsport history? Don’t bet against it.
Another week, another JLR publicity stunt. This time, Jaguar’s new XF Sportbrake has towed former British Olympic skier Graham Bell to 117mph, setting a Guinness World Record for the ‘fastest towed speed on skis’.
Bell smashed the target by more than 47mph after a handful of practice runs at Jaguar Land Rover’s Arctic Revi Test Centre in Arjeplog, Sweden. Temperatures as low as -28C created a challenge for both athlete and vehicle, says Jaguar, which was aiming to beat the existing record of slightly under 70mph.
“The XF Sportbrake’s superb traction, handling and high speed stability made it the perfect choice for this speed record attempt,” said JLR’s UK managing director, Jeremy Hicks. “We’re extremely proud to have supported Graham in this incredible world-beating achievement – it’s this kind of trail-blazing activity that really tests our cars to their limits.
“The XF Sportbrake builds on the success of the saloon and has all of the advanced all-wheel drive (AWD) technologies and aluminium-intensive architecture that have made the XF a multi-award winner.”
Since its launch in 2007, the XF has bagged 190 awards, making it the firm’s most decorated car. If you need a car capable of towing a former British Olympic skier at 117mph on ice, you know what to do…
Unless you’re Greenpeace, it won’t have gone unnoticed that electrification was a big part of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. From Volkswagen’s commitment to become a new leader in electric vehicles, to concept offerings from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, battery and hybrid power was everywhere.
The fallout from dieselgate, plus the recent announcement of plans to ban the sale of new combustion-engine-only cars in the UK by 2040, has resulted in a big rise in car buyers interested in alternatively-fuelled vehicles. But that doesn’t mean manufacturers haven’t got work to do in promoting their newly electrified products.
Using motorsport to sell cars is nothing new, but Frankfurt 2017 saw two alternative takes, one from Jaguar and the other from Mercedes-AMG, on pushing the electrification message through the lure of racing.
More Frankfurt Motor Show on MR:
Assault and batteries
Jaguar announced the creation of the first production-based race series for electric vehicles with the I-Pace eTrophy, set to launch at the end of 2018. Set to support the FIA Formula E Series, the eTrophy will pitch 20 identical I-Paces against each other, with VIP guest drivers thrown into the mix as well.
It’s a bold strategy, especially for a car that won’t make it into the hands of the general public until 2018. The key to the eTrophy is that it seeks to make electrification appear normal. Formula E has tried hard, but issues like needing to change cars mid-race have hardly helped its image.
The eTrophy has the potential to become a battery-powered BTCC. For Jaguar it creates a very simple link between the race car people can watch on TV, and one they can head to their local dealership and buy.
Casserole of complexity
In contrast, Mercedes-AMG has used the hybrid powertrain from a contemporary Formula 1 racer to create the Project One: possibly the biggest talking point of the Frankfurt show. The headline-grabbing 1,000hp peak power figure is imposing, but wading through the details of how it achieves that output is a challenge in itself.
Four electric motors, including an electrically-assisted turbocharger, and an 11,000rpm rev limit for the petrol engine sound impressive and intricate in equal measure. It’s less the fault of Mercedes, and more the issue with the current Formula 1 engine regulations that have created such a casserole of complexity.
The right formula?
The grid-place penalty debacle at the Italian Grand Prix highlighted the mess the current engine situation in F1 has become, one not helped by the reliability woes affecting Renault and Honda. Putting a current Formula 1 car engine into a road-going machine is a brave move, even for the manufacturer dominating the sport at present.
Mercedes-AMG promises that the lessons learned from the development of the Project One will translate into better road car technology, which forms part of the company’s commitment to increased electrification. This may be so, but trying to forge the links between race and road seem a lot harder with the Project One, despite the fact it has an actual motorsport-derived power unit.
Increased electrification is an unstoppable reality, and motorsport can play a key part in showing that it doesn’t have to be hair-shirted and dull. Car manufacturers just need to ensure that buyers can make and understand the connection between road and track.
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