Jaguar Land Rover Classic has been restoring JLR vehicles of the past, including the Series 1 E-type models, since early this year – including some ground-up recreations. JLR Classic is a division of Jaguar Land Rover aimed specifically at its historic side, in aiding or conducting restorations and limited reproductions of past vehicles. Most of the restored E-type beauties have been pre-sold or slated for ownership before restoration even began. This car, however, is an exception.
The Jaguar E-type Zero is a restored Series 1.5 E-type Roadster with an electric powertrain, whose chassis and exterior have been painstakingly restored to original. Most of the interior elements are also period-perfect. There are, however, two things that give away its not-quite-original status. The first is the very modern, virtual display instrument cluster and center console equipment. The second is its lack of engine sound when started up and running.
The plug to charge it is located where the filler cap would be, underneath the fuel hatch on the Jag's left-rear fender. Under its hood, replacing the engine, is a precisely-placed and weighted set of batteries. Behind that is an electric motor to power the car forward, along with its reduction gear, placed where the transmission would otherwise be. In the boot, beneath the deck, are more control electronics. The motor connects to a newly-designed propshaft that connects to a carry-over differential for final drive of the rear wheels.
The entire setup, Jaguar says, is about 100 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the original E-type with its six-cylinder engine and transmission. The similarly-weighted and placed components for the electric-drive Zero mean that Jaguar Land Rover Classic did not have to modify the original car's structure, suspension, or braking, and front-to-rear weight distribution is unchanged. This makes the electric powertrain components as drop-in as possible for simplified conversion of any Series 1.
"We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point," said Tim Hanning, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. "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."
That XK engine he speaks of was a long-running, popular choice for Jaguar for over four decades. From 1949 until 1992, the XK six was found in most of the brand's iconic models including the XK120, Mk2, and the XJ6, as well as two generations (series) of the E-type.
The E-type Zero features a 220 kW powertrain with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Total vehicle range is about 170 miles (270 km) per charge with a six to seven-hour charge time for most 220V charging stations. It has a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of just 5.5 seconds, a full second faster than the original E-type. If this powertrain sounds familiar, it's a slightly modified version of what's found in Jaguar's upcoming I-PACE production electric.
For us, the Jaguar Series 1 E-type is a beautiful choice for an electric conversion as it's one of the most beautiful cars ever made (so said Enzo Ferrari, so we have solid backing for that statement). The E-type is also one of the best-handling roadsters of all time, with fans the world over who spend fortunes collecting and restoring these classics. Adding the electrics just makes it more timeless.
The E-type Zero can be seen at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest in London on September 8-10, and in the following video.
Source: Jaguar Land Rover
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more