By on August 25, 2018

Image: Jaguar Classic

The sexiest car ever built rides again, only this time it won’t emit pollutants from its slender, chrome tailpipes. Jaguar Land Rover Classic, the automaker’s parts and servicing arm for old British tin, has announced a production version of its 2017 E-Type Zero concept will be made available to buyers.

Yes, this is the vehicle that Prince Harry and his bride, Meghan Markle, drove away from Windsor Castle in following their May nuptials.

Boasting a body long considered the equivalent of automotive porn, the E-Type Zero uses a restored E-Type Series I as a starting point. Beneath the car’s shapely flanks, however, it’s strictly 21st Century living.

Image: Jaguar Classic

Citing the “overwhelmingly positive reaction” to its 2017 concept car, Jaguar Classic claims the first E-Type Zeros should reach buyers in 2020. Not only will the company offer what must be a very limited amount of custom-built models to well-off customers, it will also perform electric conversions for any E-Type owner looking to ditch their inline-six (or V12).

The company describes the effort as “future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership.”

In place of the Series I’s six-cylinder motor is a 40 kWh battery pack with an electric motor mounted to the rear, where the internal combustion car’s transmission would be. This means weight distribution and handling remains unchanged. Jaguar Classic claims more than a few components from Jaguar’s I-Pace EV crossover went into the E-Type Zero.

Image: Jaguar Classic

A new propshaft and differential sends the emission-free power to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission, while the suspension and brakes stay the same. The company claims a range “in excess” of 170 miles.

“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,” said Jaguar Land Rover Classic director Tim Hannig.

Image: Jaguar Classic

It’s not just the powertrain that sees a modern touch, either. While the car’s delightful steering wheel remains unchanged, upgraded gauges, plus a new console and an optional touchscreen interface, make for a contemporary cabin environment. The headlights also go the LED route.

Jaguar Classic isn’t mentioning specifications or pricing yet. Right now, it just wants expressions of interest from would-be owners interested in a vintage Jag with no oil leaks or stalling issues.

[Images: Jaguar Classic]

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43 Comments on “Behave: Jaguar Putting Electric E-Type Into Production...”


  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    Oh hell yes. Except, I’m worried it will reveal itself as a lesser-than driving experience. Like I’m complaining. But still.

    Is the former Ms Markle not properly called the Princess now, or Mrs. Windsor, or the Duchess of something? It’s definitely not Prince Harry and Meghan.

    Also, airbags and safety?

    • 0 avatar
      ravenuer

      An XK-E doesn’t need no steenkin airbags!! And if there were, they’d be made by Lucas and probably wouldn’t work anyway. Come to think of it, even if they were made by Takada……

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I’ve always wanted an E-type and this would certainly fill the bill. I was born too late to get an original when new and their problems made their cost prohibitive. This would make a perfect substitution but I expect its price will still make it prohibitively expensive… no matter how much I want it.

  • avatar

    Absolutely loved this car back in the 60’s. If I could afford this new version – which I’m fairly certain I cannot making only 43K a year – I’d buy one in a heartbeat on looks alone.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    I wonder if one can get one without the changes to the interior.

  • avatar
    phxmotor

    The articles sixth paragraph starts with …”the original six cylinder motor is replaced with a 40Kw/hr battery pack… with a motor filling the original transmission space”………….
    1) it’s a six cyl engine… not a motor. You know this.
    2) so … What size is the electric traction motor? It’s not mentioned.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      Pedant Alert!

      From https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/42027/semantic-difference-between-engine-and-motor:

      A motor is a machine that converts other forms of energy into mechanical energy and so imparts motion.
      An engine is a motor that converts thermal energy to mechanical work.

    • 0 avatar
      JRobUSC

      You should write a sternly worded letter to BMW about changing their name to BEW.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        Not to mention dressing down the editors of Motor Trend and Auto Motor und Sport.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          And Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Toyota Motor Corporation, Lincoln Motor Company, Honda Motor Company, Ltd, Kia Motor Corporation, need I go on?

          Yes, many of these do build electric motors, but it certainly isn’t now, nor has it ever been their primary focus.

          • 0 avatar

            What is not clear here? Engine is the motor, it is the subset of motors. So when you say motors – it includes also engines. BTW commercial printer (or presses) are also called engines.

            On the other hand not all motors are engines.

  • avatar
    Fred

    “future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership.” Part of the old car fun for me is experiencing all the eccentricites of the old mechanics. So unless they ban gasoline this isn’t for me. Not like I could afford it otherwise.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I hope they are truly authentic and use genuine Lucas (Prince of darkness) electrical parts for all the new added components. If Lucas parts are no longer available, then I might suggest using some of those self-igniting Tesla batteries.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Jaguar Classic isn’t mentioning specifications or pricing yet.”

    That’s not what I read… 1/2 million Pounds, you do the conversion($640,000)

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      My bad, that should read 1/2 million USD

      • 0 avatar
        Kendahl

        When you consider what you can buy for considerably less than half a million USD, it’s still too much. (I encountered this ten years ago while shopping for my automotive retirement toy. The classics I had wanted since my youth were outperformed by new models that cost less.)

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Maybe there is hope for an electric Dodge Spirit revival after all.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    The Jaguar “E” Type was a receptacle built to house the classic straight-six XK engine. Without the straight-six there is simply no point. Like a gin and tonic without the gin.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      It bothers me to see a restorable XKE butchered for this conversion. If the photographs are accurate, it looks like they are going after pre-1968 cars rather than later ones that had been pretty much ruined by safety and emissions regulations. It’s some comfort that, given the exorbitant price, there won’t be very many.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Seems to me the main plan is to build all-new cars, with an offer to convert existing cars for owners. While I can understand the latter being offensive in a way, the former puts more of the cars on the road and so preserves their style. But some people will never accept resto mods, or whatever they’re called.

        As for the conversions, there’s something elegant about putting a clean modern powerplant in an old classic. Get rid of the old polluting maintenance headache. This is also a way to avoid junking perfectly good used cars and provide a path for classic cars to glide into the future. I think we’re going to see a lot of this.

        • 0 avatar
          someoldfool

          Can’t be new cars, which would be subject to all the latest safety stuff. Imagine a “pedestrian friendly” E type, in addition to all the crash stuff.

          One huge advantage to the electric conversion is not having to R&R the engine for any transmission or releated work. Need a throw out bearing or clutch disk? 12 hours or so to R&R the engine before anything else happens. (It’s supposed to be easier and cheaper to do it like a VW beetle, disconnect the engine and remove the body!)

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    I wonder if regenerative braking is part of the system. This might take some expensive doing, but is essential for range.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      The article says the brakes and suspension are unchanged. E-Types use rear inboard disc brake which, I suspect, might be difficult to re-engineer.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        Brakes themselves don’t need to be re-engineered for regenerative braking. It’s done with the electric motor. What you do need to do for the brake modulation and balance of the disc brakes is to work on systems that adapt brake application when the regenerative braking would otherwise mess things up.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I believe Jaguar has also confirmed that this conversion may be feasible on just about anything that originally used the XK I6, so up through the Series III XJ or XJS (which, considering its 70s futurism, might be a neat home for something like this).

  • avatar
    craiger

    I’ve never had the slightest desire for an electric car, but…take my money.

  • avatar
    craiger

    Only if it’s been designed by Lucas.

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    they can’t build new ones due to safety regulations, correct? There’s zero chance one of these would pass a modern crash test, so it must be conversions of existing vehicles only.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    On one level I really hate the fact that a great car has been butchered to do this. But as I sit here thinking about my own Triumph Stag a part of me thinks why not? In 10-15 years I can see petrol stations starting to disappear. Then what? An electric Stag would be great. No cooling problems and a great power train in a classic body!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    @ijbrekke:

    In the US, as long as you don’t build more than a (very) limited number of them, they’re immune to crash-safety laws–at lest for now.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Always loved these E type Jaguars along with the hardtop version. One of my other favorite cars from this era is the Studebaker Avanti. I doubt we will ever see another era where car design was at its top. Even Jay Leno says the last great year of car designs was 1966 before all the safety standards came into effect. This is not to say that safety standards are not good but it is true that Government regulations have made designing vehicles appealing to the eye much more challenging.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I have mixed feelings about this. As the former owner of a British sports car coupe with an inline six and flip-up bonnet, I remember, most fondly, the day I was in the Callahan tunnel in Boston listening to the glorious sound of the engine bouncing off the walls. While this is an interesting adaptation ad would certainly outperform the 3.8 or 4.3, in one important respect, it is no longer a true E-type.

  • avatar
    mcs

    This concept would be good for something like a malaise era C3 Corvette. I still see a lot of them still running around. Use the 200hp motor from the C8 hybrid, although a nice 400hp motor would be much better. Offer a 1972 nose and tail replacement to get rid of some of the ugly as well. They could release it at the same time as the hybrid.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Anything that puts more of the most beautiful car ever drawn on the road is a good thing. I have some complaints about the interior treatment, though: that brushed metal console has got to go. It doesn’t fit the rest of the interior and looks like they bought some generic thing out of a catalog. Also, while I accept that the LCD screen is a concession to modern demands, attaching it to that vacuum molded chunk of plastic for a dashboard is a travesty. If Jaguar wants to embrace its heritage, it should remember that its heritage is leather in the soft places and wood in the hard places.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      The original E Types from 1961-63 has a brushed metal console, this is following the original. The only wood on an original E is the steering wheel, and the Series III V12 cars didn’t have that.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I’m surprised these are almost universally accepted as the most beautiful car. While it is very good looking, I would place many of its contemporaries on a higher pedestal. The 60s Pininfarina designs, such as the recently sold 250 GTO, the Ford GT40 and even other 60s British sports cars like the Austin Healey 3000 and Aston Martin DB5 look better in my opinion.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Put solar panels on top of the garage and drive around in this for free? Yes please. (In reality the solar cells I could make reality, and maybe a…. Leaf. used.)

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Don’t want. Half the experience of the car is how it looks, and the other half is how it sounds. It doesn’t need to be unreliable, but it does need to have a multiple of 6 cylinders under the hood.

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