World's sexiest car, Jaguar E-Type, reappears as all-electric concept


Electric cars are now accepted as future volume models for most automakers, but Jaguar Land Rover has taken a very different approach to showcase its future electric powertrains.

In fact, it's not a concept for a car of the future at all, but a half-century-old Jaguar E-Type fitted with the most modern of electric running gear.

Jaguar's classic-car division unveiled the E-Type Zero concept at Tech Fest in the United Kingdom, where it also showcased autonomous driving technology.

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The brand made it clear that the E-Type Zero has no production plans tied to it, but Jaguar is very interested in hearing reactions to the concept.

Jaguar said the idea behind an all-electric E-Type wasn't to deprive enthusiasts of internal-combustion engines, but to secure the future of classic cars.

Should a ban or possible restrictions on cars powered by fossil fuels come into effect at some point in the future, this sort of conversion may prove popular for some enthusiasts.

Jaguar E-Type Zero

Jaguar E-Type Zero

Enlarge Photo

The E-Type Zero doesn't lose its driving characteristics with the switch from gasoline to electric power, Jaguar said.

Instead of the classic XK inline-6 engine under the hood, an electric motor and a 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack are located there—which doesn't alter the car's weight distribution, the company said.

In fact, the E-Type Zero weighs 100 pounds less than a traditional E-Type and boasts a range of 170 miles per charge (on the gentle European test cycle).

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The E-Type Zero's aerodynamics and low weight help the battery pack make the most of its charge.

Those worried about performance don't have to sweat: The electric powertrain is rated at 220 kilowatts (295 horsepower).

And the E-Type Zero will go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5.5 seconds, quicker than a traditional E-Type as well.

Jaguar E-Type Zero

Jaguar E-Type Zero

Enlarge Photo

Even better news for classic car aficionados: the structure of the car hasn't been changed, which keeps the car's ride, handling, and braking performance on par with the original car.

The all-electric E-Type is a clever solution to what may become a real issue in the future: limits on vehicles with tailpipes, especially those used in European city centers.

The question that instantly springs to mind for all E-Type owners and indeed British-car fans: has Jaguar ensured that the E-Type Zero will overheat predictably and leak oil appropriately?

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At the technology event, Jaguar also tackled the future head on with another concept car known as the Future-Type.

The self-driving city car is intended for use via a subscription service; it is summoned when needed, rather than being owned and used by a specific driver.

Jaguar also used the Tech Fest event to commit to offering electrified versions of every vehicle it sells by 2020, a category that includes conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and fully electric vehicles.

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