The idea of electrifying classic cars isn't a super new one, but it is one that has remained appealing to some and controversial to many. The appeal of classic cars are many, but a lack of reliability, high running costs and dirty-running drivetrains aren't generally among them. Many classic electric conversions that have been done to this point have been homebrew jobs and lack a certain polish, but Jaguar thinks it has a solution to that: the Jaguar Classic E-Type Zero.
If this is ringing a few bells, that's because Jaguar debuted a concept E-Type Zero last year at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, but now it has decided that there is sufficient interest in order to sell production versions of that car to the public. What's interesting is that Jaguar is unique among manufacturers in being equipped to build this car and build it right. We'll explain.
Jaguar Classic already has a great string of continuation model classic cars under its belt, lie the D-Type, the XKSS and of course, the Lightweight E-Type. It also knows how restore classic cars in a way that is both better than originally possible in-period, and still appearing 100 percent authentic. Jaguar recently released its highly competent all-electric SUV, the I-Pace and so it knows a thing or two about doing EV design in-house. Put them together and you get the E-Type Zero.
The E-Type Zero conversion is done in-house at the Jaguar Classic Works facility and in the interest of preserving the value of one of its most beloved models, it will be fully reversible. Prospective buyers can buy a completed car or submit their personal E-Type for restoration and conversion.
Jaguar Classic is targeting a range of 170 miles for the converted cars, which isn't bad. The battery pack takes the place of the massive inline-six cylinder engine that used to live under the bonnet and the motor lives where the gearbox used to. Much of the conversion is done with I-Pace parts, so the componentry is bespoke to Jaguar and built to work in a production vehicle.
Jaguar also maintains that the E-Type Zero will accelerate more quickly than the Series 1 E-Type and that the electric conversion maintains the same weight balance and handling characteristics as the original car. All that's missing is the roar of at big engine and the huge oil spot it would leave on your garage floor.
The Jaguar E-Type Zero is making its US debut now, but finished vehicles are expected to start being delivered to eager owners by summer of 2020. Jaguar has kept mum as to pricing, but if it's anything else like what we've seen from Jaguar Classic, expect it to not be cheap.