Jaguar – Land Rover’s electrification offensive took an unexpected turn on the opening day of the first-ever JLR Tech Fest in London, England. Jaguar’s Classic department took the wraps off a 1968 E-Type converted to run solely on electricity.
Named E-Type Zero, the battery-powered convertible looks just like a stock E-Type. The story is different under the hood, where the straight-six engine has been replaced by a 295-horsepower electric motor which zaps the rear wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission and the Jag’s stock rear differential. The gear selector is lifted straight from the Jaguar – Land Rover parts bin; you’ll find the same one in numerous new cars, including the XE and the Range Rover.
Electricity is stored in a 40-kWh battery pack that’s roughly the same shape and size as the E-Type’s XK engine. Surprisingly, the E-Type Zero is 100 pounds (roughly 46 kilos) lighter than the car it’s based on. The braking, steering, and suspension systems are carried over with no major modifications, which ensures the car still drives like an E-Type. Notably, the conversion hasn’t altered the convertible’s weight distribution.
The sprint from zero to 60 mph (roughly 100 km/h) takes 5.5 seconds, a figure that makes the electric E-Type about a full second faster than the gasoline-powered variant. It offers up to 170 miles (270 kilometers) of driving range in real-world conditions, according to Jaguar, and it takes six or seven hours to top up the battery pack.
The electric drivetrain’s restricted dimensions make it a highly modular unit.
“We could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar,” affirmed Tim Hannig, the director of Jaguar – Land Rover’s Classic center. The company added the E-Type is the smallest car the drivetrain can fit in, but installing it in bigger models (like the XJ) would be fairly straight-forward.
The E-Type Zero is a one-off model as of writing, and it took about a year to develop. Jaguar is gathering feedback from collectors, prospective buyers, and the press before deciding what’s next. If the prototype generates favorable responses, Jaguar Classic will offer the conversion as part of its in-house restoration program.