Friday, 31 August 2018

An old classic gets a modern makeover

One of Jaguar's most iconic cars, the E-Type, is set to make a comeback with a new electric version approved to go into production, and available to buy from summer 2020. 


No doubt spurred on by the fact that Prince Harry whisked his new bride, Megan Markle,  to their wedding reception in an E-Type Zero back in May, Jaguar Land Rover announced that Jaguar Classic – a unit of the firm that specialises in restoring vintage models – will convert E-Types to electric power at its Classic Works facility in Coventry. 

"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. The E-Type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-Type, and the expertise and craftsmanship of Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover's dedication to creating Zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic."

– Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director. 

For those hoping to turn their classic eco-friendly, an EV conversion service for existing E-Type owners will also be offered. To preserve the authenticity of the base vehicle, the EV conversion will be fully reversible.



The concept

The idea behind the Jaguar E-Type Zero is that not only will it drive, handle, ride, brake and look like an E-Type, it will also offer quicker acceleration than the original Series 1 E-Type. Jaguar Classic plans to target a range in excess of 170 miles for all-electric E-Types, helped by the car's low kerb weight and aerodynamics. The concept vehicle is powered by a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged in six to seven hours. 

An electric powertrain with single-speed reduction has been specially designed for the E-Type, utilising many Jaguar I-PACE components. Its lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimension, 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. 

An electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means that the car's structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed. This simplifies the conversion, keeping the driving experience in line with the original vehicle. 

We're still quite a way off from these environmentally friendly E-Types, so to tide you over until then, why not check out our latest book on the model? Jaguar E-Type Factory and Private Competition Cars takes a detailed look at the racing E-Type: an exciting and important aspect of Jaguar's history. And who knows, maybe an E-Type Zero will be seen at races of the future?