Jaguar Classic is to sell electric-powered E-types

Following the success of the E-type Zero concept driven by Harry and Meghan after the Royal wedding, Jaguar is to offer customer versions – with the first one shown in Monterey this weekend

Jaguar has confirmed that it is to sell customer versions of it electric E-type Zero concept, showcased so famously during the Prince Harry and Meghan wedding – and it will offer EV conversions to current E-type owners too, which will be fully reversible.

The ‘most beautiful electric car in the world’ was first introduced in concept form at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest in September 2017, but it was its surprise appearance as the car driven away from the Royal wedding reception in May 2018 that really propelled it into the limelight.

The pricing and specification of the production version haven’t been confirmed, but we do know that the first customer car is likely to be delivered in summer 2020. It’s likely that it will remain very similar to that of the E-type Zero concept – which is faster to accelerate than the original Series 1, achieving 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, and 0-100mph in 10 seconds (a full six seconds quicker than the original).

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In theory the Zero should have been able to match the original's top speed too (always rather dubiously claimed to be 150mph) but Jaguar limited the Zero concept to 100mph. There’s a good chance it will do the same with the production version, not wanting to risk 1960s aerodynamics at higher speeds – and with body modifications for improved aerodynamics not part of the ‘fully-reversible’ brief. Range is said to be 170 miles.

The Zero prototype is also 100lb (45kg) lighter than the original, with near-identical weight distribution. This should ensure near identical handling, and eliminate the need for changes to brakes and suspension.

The same technology used by the new I-Pace SUV will be applied to the E-type, but the battery pack will sit in the place of the original six-cylinder XK engine, with the electric motor just behind it, where the gearbox would usually be, and a new propshaft connecting the electric powertrain to the original differential and final drive.

Jaguar Classic will build tailor-made E-types converted to electric power at its Classic Works facility in Ryton, Coventry, and will also offer existing E-type owners the chance to have their cars converted at Works too. It’s likely, though not confirmed, that this service will also be offered at the new Works HQ in Essen, Germany, and the forthcoming US base, in Georgia, Savannah.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept,’ said Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic director. ‘Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic.

‘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.’

As for pricing, restored E-types from Jaguar Classic start at £295,000, so how much for the EV version? With the cost of conventional engine and gearbox rebuilds high, due to the intense labour required, it's unlikely that the EV will be much more than the fully restored original.

The first viewing of the gold car shown here will be at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering during California's famous Monterey Car Week

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