This week I would like to talk about Jaguar’s Electric E-type.
It launched by Jaguar Classic back in September 2017 but one can say it has been “immortalised” by being the car Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose to use to go from Windsor Castle to their wedding reception earlier this month.
First things first. There is a channel on youtube called The Fully Charged Show. Everything form three door classic Range Rovers to VW beetles and 70’s 911’s are featured.
And all have one thing in common: they have been converted to run on electric motors by enthusiasts. If you are like me, totally oblivious of this subculture, I would suggest taking the time to look through some of their videos!
But lets go back to the Jag and why it is important. First of all this is no “recreation”, it is a proper vintage 1968 E-type restored to perfection. The only difference is there’s no straight six under that long bonnet. Instead what you find a lithium ion battery pack and an electric motor that has been cheekily designed to look like the original XK lump.
The performance is upgraded. It needs only 5,5 seconds to get to 62mph (100km/h) when all the original could do was around 7 seconds. Theoretical top speed is 150 mph (240 km/h) just like the original, although the prototype is limited to 100 mph (160 km/h). And it can do all that with a real world range just shy of 170 miles (274 km) . Impressive stuff! One cool fact is that no original metal was cut of modified for this conversion so, as Jaguar say, it is fully reversible should you miss that straight six rumble. That also means it uses the conventional prop shaft that goes to the standard rear differential. And it also uses the standard E-type brakes and suspension. And as an extra bonus, it is 46 kg lighter than the original! As for the external look, completely original apart from the lack of exhaust pipes and the use of led headlamps. I must say i like that!
Inside it feels 1960’s with a wood steering and low original seats but the dash is carbon and it contains a touch screen and a digital display for the cars gauges. Oh, and there is no traditional gearbox. It is definitely well done in the retro mod style.
So who is this car for? Obviously rich and obviously not a purist. Someone who likes the classic look but not necessarily the mechanicals then?
According to Jaguar it’s main purpose was to future proof it’s classic cars! In a world where petrol would be scarse one could still enjoy a classic car down a country lane! I must say I like it, primarily for two reasons: first the fact that it is completly and fully reversable and, second the fact that Jaguar say this process can be applied to any of it’s cars that used the XK engine! Just think about that for a second. Jaguar Mk1 and Mk2, cool! The vast Mk10, even cooler! Or how about the later XJ saloons and the Coupe XJC or even the XJS! Sounds tantalising, no. Of course you can go a bit mad and say XK120, 140, 150! And if you go there, then why not C-type, D-type and XKSS (in replica forms of course!).
So what do you think? Are you for or against this trend?
Wherever you stand you will have a blast reading about these cars in original form in books you will find here!
(All photos by Jaguar unless otherwise stated)