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Jaguar Land Rover Classic has debuted its electric-powered Jaguar E-type prototype. The vehicle features a fully electric powertrain with a body designed after the 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type Roadster, which Enzo Ferrari called “the most beautiful car in the world.”
“This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation,” said Tim Hanning, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. “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.”
Same Look, Similar Performance
The Jaguar E-type Zero offers impressive performance that makes it quicker than an original E-type. The car goes zero to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds—one second quicker than the original Series 1 E-type.
“In order to seamlessly combine the new electric powertrain of E-type Zero with the dynamic set-up of the original E-type specification, we have limited the vehicle’s power output. We believe this provides the optimum driving experience,” Hanning said.
The E-type Zero model is a restored Series 1.5 Roadster. It’s totally original in specification, apart from its 21st century powertrain and modified instrumentation and fascia – although these are also inspired by the original E-type. LED headlights are also used to achieve energy efficiency. Again, they adopt the styling theme of the original Series 1 E-type.
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 original XK six-cylinder engine used in the 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 gearbox on the E-type, while a new propshaft sends power to a carry-over differential and final drive. Total weight is about 100 pounds less than the original E-type.
Using an electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing gas powered 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; the front-rear weight distribution is unchanged.
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 conceivably be used in any of these vehicles.
“We could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar,” Hanning said.
Powertrain and Range
The unique electric powertrain of the E-type Zero 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, the first production all-electric vehicle from Jaguar Land Rover.
The E-type Zero has a real world range of about 170 miles, helped by the low weight and aerodynamics. It relies on power from a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged from home overnight, typically in six to seven hours.