Jaguar E-Type Zero is All Electric and Completely Gorgeous

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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.


ALSO SEE: What Forum Members Have to Say Jaguar E-Type Zero

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.

Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his JK Forum profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK Forum, H-D Forums, The Mustang Source, Mustang Forums, LS1Tech, HondaTech, Jaguar Forums, YotaTech, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Derek also started There Will Be Cars on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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