Jaguar to Produce a Run of Electric E-Type Cars, Converting Classic Ones

The Jaguar E-Type is one of the most iconic sports cars of all time, and it’s coming back with more than a few futuristic upgrades.

During the latest Royal Wedding, the newlyweds made some headlines for Jaguar when they drove off to their honeymoon in what appeared to be a classic E-Type. However, it turns out this particular car contained  an electric engine and updated transmission. Jaguar announced that it would now bring this royal vehicle to the unwashed masses with a new series of E-Types for sale. This is a great opportunity for people who want to own an iconic car that was both an engineering marvel and basically a sculpture. Even better, it’s a classic vehicle with a space-age interior and a low carbon footprint. 

What is the Jaguar E-Type?

Enzo Ferrari, perhaps the most important man in Italian sports car history, called the Jaguar E-Type “the most beautiful car ever made.” It was a showpiece for the fledgling Jaguar motor company in the 1960s, trying to break into a crowded market. It’s high-performance and sleek design helped make this car one of the most popular classic sports cars of all time. Jaguar released three series of E-Types before retiring them, but collectors and sports car enthusiasts would never let it die.


Credit: DeFacto, Wikimedia Commons

Neither would Jaguar, so it seems. After announcing that the car company would be committing to going fully electric by 2020, they unveiled the “Concept Zero” E-Type. Essentially, it is a piece-by-piece recreation of an early E-Type design but with the engine and transmission replaced with the workings of an electric car. The interior has also been modified, still sleek and simple but with a large touchscreen display in the dash. It’s simply a marvelous marriage of classic and futuristic design. The battery back and electric motor also fit nicely inside where the engine and transmission used to be. The cars still have the exact same weight distribution. 

Why Is It Going Electric?

As mentioned above, Jaguar committed in the late summer of 2017 to moving their production focus from gas-powered cars to electric. By 2020, they claim that they will be a fully electric car company, making it more of a competitor of Tesla than Ferrari or other luxury sports cars. While the main reason to switch to electric is to reduce environmentally harmful emissions, Jaguar also seems to believe electric cars are the wave of the future.


Credit: Jaguar, Twitter

As a European company, it’s a sound investment. Europe’s relationship with fossil fuels is a bit more fraught than the United States’ relationship with it. Still, even in the U.S. electric cars are extremely fashionable. Designing an electric car that looks exactly like one of the most classic sports cars in history is not a bad business gamble.

How Can I Get One?

So far, the E-Type Concept Zero is not going to rolled out en masse to Jaguar dealerships. Currently, only the Britain-based Classic Works plant seems to be producing them. If you want to be one of the first people to get one of these vehicles, you need to contact a specialist at Jaguar. But, if you happen to have an E-Type already or any other Jaguar model that used that engine like the XJ6, you can have yours retrofit with the new electric guts.


Credit, Jaguar, Twitter

You’d have to send your vehicle to the Classic Works plant, and they would remove the engine and transmission. These would be preserved, making the conversion fully reversible if you are an originalist. If you’re not that married to the idea of keeping everything exactly as it was, Jaguar will also updated the instruments and dash with touchscreen navigation and sound system. This is a cool and unique idea. If it is successful, expect more Jaguar models and more car companies to offer this in the future. 

This initiative by Jaguar to reissue and retrofit classic cars with electric engines is a great step towards a future powered less by fossil fuels.

As the technology develops and the infrastructure to support electric cars becomes more common, it just makes sense this is where the market will go. These vehicles are quieter, emissions-free, and (save perhaps for cross-country driving) more convenient. With electric cars, you can go out for dinner and a movie using the last of your charge and come back to “half a tank” of power. Still, change is always difficult so wrapping it in familiar car body-styles can help that transition in the market. Classic style met with modern conveniences might bring along those reticent to the change. Combustible engines aren’t going to completely disappear, but if more companies embrace Jaguar’s view electric cars will become much more common. 

What do you think? Do you like this idea of retrofitting classic cars with modern, clean technology? Would you like one of these cars? Share your thoughts, reactions, and ideas in the comments below. Don’t forget to share the article on social media if you liked it!

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