Jaguar E-Type gets new spark of life
Classic British sportscar maker unveils electric version designed to 'future-proof classic car ownership'
If you are lucky enough to own an E-Type Jaguar, the company behind the venerable marque has a way to bring it bang up to date.
Jaguar Land Rover Classic, a unit of the world-famous British sportscar maker, has unveiled an electric-powered Jaguar E-type, made famous by such 1960s celebrities as Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra and George Best.
The retro-classic, designed to "future-proof classic car ownership", according to Jaguar, was introduced at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest that took place in London at the weekend. The car, known as the E-type Zero, has been restored and converted at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, not far from where the E-type was born.
“E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification," said Tim Hannig, the director for Jaguar Land Rover Classic.
“Our aim with E-type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership. We’re looking forward to the reaction of our clients as we investigate bringing this concept to market.”
It uses some technology and components borrowed from the upcoming I-PACE, Jaguar Land Rover’s first production all-electric vehicle.
But the Jaguar E-type Zero not only drives and looks like an E-type, it is also quicker than the original launched in 1961: 0 to 100kph takes only 5.5 seconds, about a second quicker than an original Series 1 E-type.
“In order to seamlessly combine the new electric powertrain of E-type Zero with the dynamic set-up of the original E-type specification, we have limited the vehicle’s power output. We believe this provides the optimum driving experience,” said Mr Henning.
The E-type Zero vehicle that was displayed at Tech Fest is a restored Series 1.5 Roadster. It is totally original in specification, Jaguar said, apart from its state-of-the-art powertrain and modified instrumentation and facia.
The electric powertrain developing 220kW was specially designed for the E-type Zero. Its lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions, and similar weight, to the XK six-cylinder engine used in the original E-type so it can be placed in precisely the same location as the XK engine. As well as being kinder to the environment, the car's total weight is 46kg lower than the original E-type. The electric version has a "real world" range of 270km.
Using an electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means the car’s structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed, simplifying the conversion for E-Type owners wanting to adopt the technology. It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type. Front-rear weight distribution is unchanged.
“We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point," said Mr Hannig. "We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA.”
Updated: September 10, 2017 05:23 PM