From 1961 to 1975 roads became ‘magnificent’ with the Jaguar E-Type, a British sports car based on Jaguar’s D-Type racing car. Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made”. The Italian comic book character Diabolik chose it as his getaway car. After over 40 years it may come back with a totally innovative technology, but the same breathtaking beauty: same design but with a fully electric powertrain.
This is the new E-Type Zero concept by Jaguar: “The Most Beautiful Electric Car In The World”.
It’s been presented last 8 September 2017 at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, during the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest and is engineered by Jaguar Land Rover Classic.
E-type Zero is based on 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type Roadster. Restored and converted at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, it features a cutting-edge electric powertrain enabling 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds.
Thanks to Jaguar, a classic car may ‘jump to the future’ with an innovative contemporary technology, but without ‘destroying’ its original beauty and power.
Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic said:
“E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification. This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation. 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.”
In fact, this new generation offers outstanding performance, being even quicker than the original. A ‘real world’ range of 270km (about 170 miles) and a 0-100km/h in just 5 seconds and a half, about one second quicker than a Series 1 E-type.
How did they do that?
The team limited the vehicle’s power output to combine the new electric powertrain and the original E-Type specification, Mr. Hannig explained. The E-type Zero has a low weight and good aerodynamics. It uses a 40kWh battery, rechargeable from home overnight (typically in six to seven hours).
All the specifications are original. Only the powertrain has been updated to the 21st century technology; while the instrumentation and facia have been modified and LED headlights added to achieve energy efficiency. But if you’re afraid the car has been deformed or worsened, don’t worry: all elements kept the original design. In other worlds let me say “it has a different and healthier heart, but the same body beauty”.
To ensure the same driving experience and simplified conversion and homologation, the engineers designed the 220kW electric powertrain specifically for the E-Type Zero. Similar weight and dimensions to the old petrol engine and transmission allowed to keep the same car’s structure (including suspension, brakes and front-rear weight distribution).
What does it mean exactly?
The new Jaguar E-type Zero drives, handles, rides and brakes like the original one. A conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point, keeping the DNA unchanged.
In addition, this technology could be used to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar, mounted in almost all icon Jaguar models made from 1949 to 1992.
Will it be the chance to bring back on the road all the classic cars with all their beauty and uniqueness? Let’s wait and see.