(Ryton-on-Dunsmore, U.K.) – September 7, 2017 – Jaguar Land Rover Classic is presenting an electric-powered Jaguar E-type at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, which opens to the public on September 8 in London. The car, known as E-type Zero, has been restored and converted at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, not far from where the E-type was born.
“E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification,” said Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. “This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation. Our aim with the 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.”
The Jaguar E-type Zero not only drives and looks like an E-type, it also offers outstanding performance. It’s quicker than an original E-type; 0-100km/h (62mph) acceleration takes only 5.5sec, about one second quicker than the original Series 1 E-type.
“In order to seamlessly combine the new electric powertrain of the 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,” Hannig added.
The E-type Zero, displayed at Tech Fest, 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.
Bespoke Electric Powertrain
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 100lbs (46kg) lower 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.
“We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point,” Hannig said. “We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA. We could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar.”
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.
‘The Most Beautiful Car Ever Made’
The E-type, launched in 1961, has regularly been voted the best-looking car of all time. Even Enzo Ferrari called it "the most beautiful car ever made”.
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 Concept Zero has a ‘real world’ range of 270km (about 170 miles), helped by the low weight and good aerodynamics. It relies on power from a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged from home overnight (typically in six to seven hours, depending on power source).
The Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, where the electric Jaguar E-type Zero is unveiled, is being held at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. The media day is September 7 and it is open to the public from September 8-10.