Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled a fully electric version of its iconic E-type at Tech Fest in London, just hours after announcing that every model the firm produces will be available in electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid guise by the year 2020.
The E-type Zero is based on a 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster, but instead of its conventional straight-six petrol engine, power comes via a 295bhp electric motor and powerful 40kWh battery. The new power unit and battery source are mounted in the engine bay, and due to the similarity in size and weight with the conventional engine, the original suspension and brake components have been retained.
The new car also offers comparable performance with the 1960s original, reaching 62mph in just 5.5 seconds and going on to a top speed of 150mph, boasting a ‘real world’ range of 170 miles.
While the conversion seems a drastic step, the modifications are fully reversible and many of the car’s original components have been retained. The petrol engine is an obvious casualty, while the original four-speed gearbox has been replaced with a single-speed reduction ‘box mated to the original propshaft and differential. The boot, meanwhile, is occupied by an inverter.
“We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point,” said Jaguar Land Rover Classic boss Tim Hannig. He went on to suggest that the new powertrain could be used to transform any XK-engined car, including XK120s, Mk2s and XJ6s.
Despite a reported cost of more than £300,000, Tim Hang’s brainchild could be in showrooms sooner than you think: “Our aim with the E-type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership. We’re looking forward to the reaction of our clients as we investigate bringing this concept to market.”