Jaguar’s E-type Zero: Looking back to go forward

The latest iteration of the E-type Zero concept, finished in a Bespoke Bronze paint finish, made its US debut at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering on August 24. This comes after an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the original electric concept for ‘the most beautiful electric car in the world’ at Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest in September 2017 following which Jaguar Classic confirmed it will offer all-electric E-types for sale.

Jaguar Classic will offer tailor-made E-types restored and converted to electric power at the same Classic Works facility as its outstanding E-type Reborn restorations in Coventry, UK. For this project, Jaguar Classic will be combining its restoration expertise with cutting-edge technology from the Jaguar I-PACE, the award-winning zero-emissions performance SUV. 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.

Tim Hannig, Director, Jaguar Land Rover Classic, 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.” – Tim Hannig, Director, Jaguar Land Rover Classic

Even though technical specifications and pricing details are yet to be finalised, Jaguar Classic has already started taking expressions of interest from potential E-type Zero clients. Deliveries of the first electric E-type vehicles are expected to start from summer 2020.

Jaguar Classic is targeting a range in excess of 170 miles, helped by the car’s low kerb weight and sleek aerodynamics. The concept is powered by a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged in six to seven hours. An electric powertrain with single-speed reduction gear has been specially designed for the E-type, utilising many Jaguar I-PACE components. Its 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. A new propshaft sends power to a carry-over differential and final drive.

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 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.

Apart from its state-of-the-art powertrain, modified instrumentation and fascia showcasing the latest touchscreen infotainment (which will be available as an option), the E-type Zero concept is mostly original. Efficient LED headlights complement the iconic Series 1 design.