Williams, Jaguar and Tata
While Williams F1 are in turmoil, with the team struggling near the back of the midfield and a major restructuring of the management in progress, one significant member of the team was missing today – Sir Frank himself. Instead, the team’s founder was in London for Jaguar’s big announcement. Jaguar has decided that it will launch the remarkable C-X75 concept car as a limited-edition, £700,000 hybrid supercar to rival the Bugatti Veyron – and it is enlisting the aid of the Williams F1 team to do it.
As it happens, a part of the old Jaguar Grand Prix team turned up in Istanbul in the form of their old motorhome, now painted black and the new home from home of Pirelli. Could the company’s ties with Williams herald a return to Formula One in a more visible form?
Interestingly, Jaguar owners, Tata, have already been making themselves known in F1 over the past few years. Since 2009 the name has appeared on Ferrari and now is the primary sponsor amongst all the “Your Name Here” messages on HRT’s racer. Jaguar may not have built on the promise of its name during its brief foray into F1 under Ford but the appeal of seeing such a prestigious name in the sport certainly remains.
Meanwhile, Jaguar promises a combination of internal combustion power with electric motors to achieve supercar performance and less than 99g/km CO2 emissions, 0-60mph is expected in less than 3 seconds and 3 seconds later owners will be able to hit the 100mph mark. Thinking ahead to the 2013 engine changes, which coincides with the expected production date for the new Jaguar, Formula One could provide the ideal platform for selling a high-end but economical car.
At a time when Group Lotus are expanding out into motorsport in order to sell their luxury car ambitions, could this be the moment for Tata to follow suit with the Jaguar brand? Perhaps Hispania, a team also enjoying technology ties with Williams, could offer an appropriate point of entry?
Meanwhile, here’s the Jaguar C-X75…
Credit: Hispania Racing Team, Jaguar Cars