England – Jaguar Land Rover Classic is presenting an electric-powered E-type at the automaker’s Tech Fest.
The car, known as 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.
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.”
The automaker says that the E-type Zero not only drives and looks like an E-type, it also offers outstanding performance; it’s quicker than an original E-type: 0-100km/h takes only 5.5 seconds, about one second quicker than a Series 1 E-type.
Jaguar says that the E-type Zero vehicle, displayed at Tech Fest, is a restored Series 1.5 Roadster. It’s totally original in specification, apart from its 21st century state-of-the-art powertrain and modified instrumentation and facia – although these are also inspired by the original E-type. LED headlights are also used to achieve energy efficiency.
Bespoke electric powertrain
An electric powertrain developing 220kW has been 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. The experts responsible for developing the electric powertrain have ensured it will be placed in precisely the same location as the XK engine.
The electric motor (and reduction gear) lies just behind the battery pack, in the same location as the E-type’s gearbox. A new propshaft sends power to a carry-over differential and final drive. Total weight is 46kg lower than the original E-type.
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 and homologation. It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type. Front-rear weight distribution is unchanged.
Hannig added: “We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point. We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA.”
The XK six-cylinder engine was made from 1949 until 1992, and was fitted to nearly all iconic Jaguar models of that period, including the E-type, XK120, Mk2 and XJ6. The new electric powertrain could be used in any of these vehicles.
Hannig said: “We could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar.”
‘The most beautiful car ever made’
The E-type, launched in 1961, has regularly been voted the best-looking car of all time. Even Enzo Ferrari called it ‘the most beautiful car ever made’.
E-type Zero’s unique electric powertrain was developed by an electric powertrain specialist in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover engineers and to a specific brief from Jaguar Land Rover Classic. It uses some technology and components borrowed from the upcoming I-Pace, Jaguar Land Rover’s first production all-electric vehicle.
The E-type Zero has a ‘real world’ range of 270km, helped by the low weight and good aerodynamics. It uses a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged from home overnight (typically in six to seven hours, depending on power source).