Jaguar Announces Electric Future With Battery-Powered E-Type

Starting in 2020, every new Jaguar will have some form of electric power. To prove it, Jaguar built an all-electric E-Type.

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Jaguar has decided that, starting in 2020, every vehicle it builds will have some sort of electric power—either via hybrid or full electric drivetrain. That's not a surprise—BMW made a similar commitment today, and Volvo announced such plans back in July. But the way Jaguar debuted the announcement is simply delightful.

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Feast your eyes on the E-Type Zero. This beautiful blue roadster started out as a Series 1.5 example of the beloved, beautiful Jag. But after a trip through Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, it's got something a bit different going on under the hood.

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Where once a venerable XK straight-six engine was mounted, now sits a 220kW electric powertrain. Most of what you see under the hood is the lithium-ion battery pack, shaped to the same dimensions as the original engine block. The motor itself takes the place of the E-Type's factory gearbox, allowing the whole electrified drivetrain to fit in exactly the same place as the factory engine, using the exact same mounts.

“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 Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. “We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA. We could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar.”

In fact, the all-new electric drivetrain weighs about 100 lbs less than the original engine, mounted to preserve the E-Type's weight distribution and driving through the original rear differential. The car's structure, suspension and brakes are all identical to the factory vehicle, meaning the driving experience should be as close as possible to the original E-Type magic. Jaguar claims a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds, considerably faster than an original E-Type, and a driving range of around 170 miles.

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Of course, the E-Type Zero is simply a one-off experiment, meant to highlight Jaguar's dedication to future electrified vehicles. The I-Pace all-electric crossover goes on sale next year; the Future-Type, an autonomous electric concept car envisioning shared mobility in the year 2040, also debuted today.

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But it's that electrified E-Type that has us particularly intrigued. This seems like a great conversion for an engine-less original car, staying true to the legend while imbuing new, modern technology. If this is the future Jaguar has in mind, we're on board.

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