Owning a classic car, like say, the Jaguar E-Type, is considered by many to be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you can possess what is arguably one of the most beautiful cars in history. A curse, simply because maintaining a classic car can be quite a headache.
But what if you could have your cake and eat it too? This is what Jaguar Land Rover offers enthusiasts as it shows off the Jaguar E-Type Zero at the ongoing Tech Fest in London. As the name suggests, the E-Type Zero is an E-Type that is powered by an electric motor.
A careful peek at the car reveals that it is, indeed, an original Mk 1.5 E-Type. Everything from the flanks, interior, and chassis and suspension are all original nd have been restored to spec. In fact, you couldn’t tell the difference unless you were informed that this is a special car.
What sets it apart from its ancestor are a few modern touches. The headlights, for instance, utilize LED lighting to save on power. Yet they are still designed like the vintage car’s. Then there are the gauges, which may look like the classic instrument cluster, yet feature readouts for the electric motor and other vital functions.
And of course, popping the hood reveals a 40kwh lithium-ion battery that is sized just like the XK-series six-cylinder motor. Right behind the battery are the electric motor and reduction gear—placed in the same location as the gasoline-powered car’s transmission. Electric power is sent to the drive wheels by a propshaft, carry-over differential, and final drive.
The logic behind such an arrangement is ease of installation. Employing the same dimensions and weights negates the need to revise suspension and other components. Plus, all this helps contribute to a drive that is akin to the original car—albeit quietly and guilt-free.
The 290hp produced by the electric motor can propel the E-Type Zero from rest to 100kph in just 5.5 seconds—a second quicker than the Mk I E-Type. As for range, one can go up to 270kms before needing to top up for about 6 to 7 hours.
The Jaguar E-Type Zero is on display at Tech Fest, which is ongoing at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London.