It feels like virtually anything with wheels is getting the electric treatment these days: vans, SUVs, and now even classic cars like the Jaguar E-type.
Jaguar Land Rover is no stranger to vehicles driven purely on electricity. We all know about the I-Pace – the award-winning zero-emissions performance SUV – and you’ve probably spotted one of the many glowing reviews dotted around the internet (Auto Express dished a perfect five stars).
A plug-in Range Rover Sport has been about for a while and a hybrid Evoque could be with us by the end of 2019.
Recent research suggested that most of us won’t be plugging into electric cars any time soon, but that hasn’t stopped Jaguar from powering ahead with its electric ambitions and this time, they’ve turned their attention to the iconic E-type.
‘Future-proofing classic car ownership’
Unveiled in August during California’s Monterey Car Week, the all-electric E-type will be tailor-made or restored and converted to electric power at the same Classic Works facility as its outstanding E-type Reborn restorations in Coventry.
Existing E-type owners will also be offered the chance to give their car an electric conversion, and to appease the purists, the EV conversion will be fully reversible, preserving the authenticity of the base vehicle.
The idea was first floated with the E-type Zero concept in 2017 and the positive reaction was overwhelming, said Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic division.
“Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for us,” he explained.
He also commented: “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.”
What kind of numbers does the electric E-type report?
Tech specs and pricing haven’t been confirmed yet, but Jaguar Classic is only accepting expressions of interest right now. All being well, the first electric E-types could be on the road by summer 2020.
Despite virtually all of the numbers being a mystery for now, 2017’s concept provides a decent idea of what to expect from the EV-type (sorry, that pun was too naff to resist). Mileage range for the concept apparently exceeds 170 miles, helped by the car’s low kerb weight and sleek aerodynamics.
Its 40kWh battery can be recharged in six to seven hours, depending on the power source. The battery pack has the same dimensions and similar weight to the standard E-type’s six-cylinder petrol XK engine and it sits in the same location.
The electric motor lies just behind the battery pack, in place of the E-type’s gearbox, further minimising headaches during the retrofit process.
Although the overall look is classic, a raft of modern technology can be found throughout the concept. Jaguar’s latest touchscreen infotainment system can be specced as an option and the front-end boasts efficient LED headlights.
Jaguar insists that the electric E-type drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original car with front-rear weight distribution unchanged.
What do you think about converting classics like the E-type to electric drive? Sacrilege or positive progress? Let us know down in the comments…
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