Greater than the automotive breakthrough that was the XK 120, greater than the highly successful Mark VII, and greater than the impressive XJ220, no single Jaguar is more revered than the 1961 E-Type (XK-E in the states). Now, more than 40 years later, the venerated E-Type is still recognized for its timeless good looks and high performance.
Besides being Jaguar’s most iconic vehicle, and arguably one of the most iconic sports cars ever, it comes as no surprise that a company would look to honor the E-Type’s legacy by bringing forth a modern reinterpretation.
Classic Factory, a Swiss design company, has partnered with Swedish designer Bo Zolland to create the Lyonheart K.
Some eyebrows will undoubtedly rise at the notion of a reinvented E-Type from an ostensibly foreign collaboration. However, given the deep and proud British history wrapped around the original, Classic Factory is hoping to capture some of the E-Type’s magic by engineering and building the Lyonheart K in Coventry, England — the same city where the original E-Types were manufactured.
Of course, reinventing any classic car will always be a tricky endeavor. You could do the car all the justice in the world and it may never resonate with people who simply can’t shake the memory of the original. With a car like the E-Type, Classic Factory had its work cut out. Based on what we have seen, though, we think they did an excellent job.
First, the exterior of the Lyonheart has, well, a lot of heart. It perfectly mates the old with the new, keeping enough of the source material while providing a host modern touches that are gorgeous to behold — like projector headlights and LED taillights, which we are total suckers for.
The body of the Lyonheart K is comprised of lightweight carbon fiber while the chassis is made of aluminum. Simply looking at the car’s body you can see that Classic Factory’s classic reimagining is anything but dull. This is one beauty that doesn’t mind showing off its curves.
Beating inside the Lyonheart is a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that pumps out a healthy 542 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. The spiritual successor to the E-Type can achieve an electronically limited maximum speed of 186 miles per hour, and is able to make the dash from 0-62 mph in less than four seconds, making it one fast cat.
There is always a catch, though. While the original E-Type was renowned for its gorgeous good looks, elevated performance levels, and competitive pricing, Classic Factory have priced the Lyonheart K at over half a million dollars ($654,000). But if you have the patience of a saint — the delivery time for the Lyonheart K is about 18 months — and the pockets of a millionaire, you probably won’t care.