Jaguar E-Type Zero is All Electric and Completely Gorgeous
Jaguar Land Rover Classic brings the E-Type into the 21st century with an electric powertrain and components found in the upcoming I-PACE.
The Jaguar E-Type always had style and beautiful lines. Now it has an all-electric powertrain. At least that’s the case with this 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-Type Roadster. Jaguar Land Rover Classic has turned it into what it calls the E-Type Zero.
The engineers at JLR’s new “Classic Works” facility in Warwickshire, UK removed the E-Type’s original XK straight-6 and gearbox and replaced them with a 220-kW powertrain, a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery pack (recharging takes six to seven hours), and a reduction gear, which fits where the old transmission used to be. Thanks to that combo’s zap and the 100 pounds of weight it shaved, the E-Type Zero can zip to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.
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As extensive as those modifications sound, they didn’t necessitate radical changes to the rest of the E-Type. In fact, JLR Classic’s team didn’t even have to change or retune the E-Type Zero’s brakes or suspension. According to the automaker, “It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type; the front-rear weight distribution is unchanged.” However, JLR Classic did add new E-Type-inspired instrumentation, a modern interior fascia and dial shifter, and LED headlights. Most importantly, they kept the E-Type’s gorgeous wire wheels.
The XK straight-6 was put into a variety of Jaguar vehicles, including the XK120, Mk2, and XJ6, between 1949 and 1992. That means it’s possible for the E-Type Zero’s electric power plant to fit into those models, too. The bad news is that the E-Type Zero hasn’t been approved for production…yet. JLR is using it to gauge whether or not there’s enough customer interest in “future-proof,” electrified classics.
JLR will be showing the E-Type Zero as well as the all-electric I-PACE (coming to dealerships next year) during Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London September 8-10.