It was March 1961 at the Geneva Auto Salon, where Jaguar unveiled the E-type, which not only hogged the limelight but also managed to take a certain Enzo Ferrari's breath away. As a matter of fact, he was so mesmerised by the gorgeous roadster that the Prancing Horse chief described it as the most beautiful car in the world. Who would have guessed that after 56 years this iconic sports car would mark its return in a concept form at Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest in September 2017? It created such a ripple effect in the media and in the circle of the rich and famous that this showstopper found itself in the guest list of a royal wedding. That's right, Prince Harry and his new bride Meghan Markle drove off into the sunset after tying the knot in this stunning machine. Blame the romantic in us but, actually, they were headed to their evening reception hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House. Anyways, the reason why the E-type has hit the headlines again is that Jaguar Classic has confirmed it will go ahead and produce all-electric E-types and the deliveries are expected to start from summer 2020.
Combining its restoration expertise with the latest technology from the Jaguar I-PACE, Jaguar Classic will offer tailor-made E-types restored and converted to electric power at the Classic Works facility in Coventry, UK. Jaguar hasn't forgotten the existing E-type owners as they will offer an EV conversion service. This service will preserve the authenticity of the base vehicle and the good news here is that the EV conversion will be fully reversible.
Jaguar has ensured that the E-type Zero concept not looks like an E-type, but also offers outstanding performance with quicker acceleration than the original Series 1 E-type. Jaguar Classic is confident that the all-electric E-type can offer a range of over 270 kilometres. Powered by a 40kWh battery, it can be recharged in six to seven hours, depending on power source.
A masterstroke here by Jaguar Classic is that the lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions, and similar weight, to the standard E-type’s six-cylinder petrol XK engine and is in the same location. The electric motor lies just behind the battery pack, in place of the E-type’s gearbox. Using an electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means that the E-type retains its iconic structure, including suspension and brakes, and keeping the driving experience in line with the original vehicle. It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type with front-rear weight distribution unchanged.
If you thought that the powertrain was the only thing that's modern and state-of-the-art then you have another think coming. The instrument cluster in the cabin has been modified and the E-type now boasts off a touchscreen infotainment system (which will be an optional feature). The E-type Zero concept also comes with LED headlights, which models the iconic Series 1 design.
Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director, said, "We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept. Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. E-type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-type, and the expertise and craftsmanship at Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover’s dedication to creating zero-emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic."