The 1968 Series 1.5 E-type has been reborn with an electric motor, capable of pushing the roadster to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.Jaguar Land Rover's inaugural 'Tech Fest' may not seem to be an appropriate venue for a 50-year-old E-type, however one special E-type has been brought to London to demonstrate JLR Classic Works' vision for "future-proof classic car ownership."
Based on the 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster, the 'E-type Zero' has been retrofitted with a purely electric powertrain. A 295-horsepower electric motor is paired with a lithium-ion battery pack that roughly matches the dimensions and weight of the XK engine used in the original car, while the motor and reduction gear are placed in the same location as the E-type gearbox. Total weight is about 100 pounds lighter than the original car.
Drivers might miss the sound of the E-type's inline-six, though the electric system improves the car's zero-to-62 mph benchmark to 5.5 seconds.
"E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification," says Jaguar Land Rover Classic director Tim Hannig. "This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation."
The company is currently feeling out the proposition as a potential service offered to Classic Works customers. In theory, the same retrofit could be applied to any vehicle that used the same XK engine such as the XK120, Mk2 and XJ6.
The E-type Zero has a "real world" range of around 170 miles from its 40-kWh battery pack, roughly on par with the new Nissan Leaf.