Jaguar has confirmed its electric E-Type is going into production. Indeed, in the same week Aston Martin has squeezed some actual Bond gadgets into a DB5 you can buy, Jag’s pepped up another Sixties icon with some actually relevant tech.
You’ll be able to drive this E-Type Zero on the road, after all. While the tech is inspired by the I-Pace, these will be proper E-Types with a tailor-made conversion at Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works facility in Coventry.
You can even take along your existing E-Type and have it converted, something that Jag promises is reversible, should you want to restore it to straight-six or V12 glory when the time comes to sell.
Tech specs – and the perhaps slightly important issue of pricing – will be revealed in due course. Last year’s concept claimed nearly 300bhp, a 5.5sec 0-100kph time and a 274-kilometre range, restored via a seven-hour charge. That makes it quicker or more powerful than any petrol-powered E-Type, though naturally we suspect it won’t sound anywhere near as interesting.
It should drive and handle just as before, with the batteries and motor all slotting neatly into the gaps left behind by the E-Type’s original engine and gearbox. Weight distribution is unchanged, and no new suspension or brakes have been called for. The only way you’ll tell the difference – unless you flip open the bonnet – is via the new switchgear and dials. Even the charging plug goes where the petrol pump used to.
"It’s not unthinkable that a city like London could ban internal combustion vehicles at some point in the future,” JLR Classic director Tim Hannig said when the E-Type Zero was unveiled as a concept in 2017.
“The E-Type’s the most tightly packaged Jaguar, so we can convert any classic Jaguar into an EV. Not only that, but we know there’s an audience out there that is attracted to the style of a classic car, but doesn’t want the inconvenience that can sometimes come with it.
“We also understand it’s not for everyone, and the guys who crave originality might have issues with it. But we think this is a way of future-proofing classic car ownership.”
While there’s no pricing, order books are effectively open, with the first examples fighting Leafs and Ioniqs for charging sockets in 2020.
Do you like the idea? Or is there another classic car you’d like to future-proof by squeezing a load of batteries into it?