Jaguar unveils electric-powered E-type
New Jaguar Land Rover Classic EV 'E-type Zero' project six seconds faster from 0-100mph than original E-type
Jaguar Land Rover Classic has unveiled an all-electric E-type at its Tech Fest event in London, amidst a promise that all its production vehicles will be electric by 2020.
The E-type Zero is based on a 1968 Series 1½ E-type, restored and converted to electric power at JLR Classic’s new 14,000m sq headquarters in Coventry – just ten miles from the Browns Lane factory where E-types were originally produced.
By placing the lithium-ion battery where the famous six-cylinder XK engine once sat, and the 220kW electric motor and reduction gear directly behind it – in place of the four-speed gearbox – the E-type Zero virtually retains the same weight distribution as the original – although the Zero is actually 100lb, or 45kg, lighter which should ensure near identical handling. A new propshaft connects the electric powertrain to the original differential and final drive.
Performance improves upon the original 246bhp model, with a 0-60mph time of 5.5 seconds, a second faster. Although with the same aerodynamics and final drive, top speed would be similar were it not for JLR limiting it to 100mph. However, it reaches that top speed in 10 seconds, a full six seconds faster than the original’s 0-100 time.
What’s important to note is that by slotting the battery and new powertrain into the spaces previously occupied by original engine and gearbox, the Zero could be converted back to original specification without structural changes. Indeed, the Zero’s bodywork and interior is unchanged except for LED headlights (for improved energy efficiency) and revised instruments and dashboard.
Also, an XK-shaped electric powertrain could also be fitted to any other Jaguar originally fitted with the XK engine; so XK120, XK140, XK150, XJ6, Mk2, MkXI, S-type, 420, Daimler Double Six and even the Daimler DS420 in which the XK engine lived on until 1992.
Of course the Zero won’t have that characteristic throaty roar of the originals, and its range is limited to a claimed ‘real-world’ 170 miles according to JLR, but it’s an interesting project of which JLR Classic director Tim Hannig says, ‘This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation. We’re looking forward to the reaction of our clients as we investigate bringing this concept to market.’
The Zero uses technology developed for the new Jaguar I-Pace, which goes on sale in 2018 but whether or not the Zero will go into (very) low-volume production will depend entirely on customer interest.