Skip to main content

Jaguar’s greatest sports car is getting an all-electric makeover

In 2017, Jaguar got everyone talking when it unveiled the E-Type Zero concept, a classic sports car with a modern electric powertrain. The car got even more exposure when it showed up at the Royal Wedding. Now, Jaguar says it will build a limited run of production models, with deliveries set to begin in 2020. Cue jokes about old British cars and their notoriously shoddy electrical systems.

The original E-Type Zero was a one-off prototype based on a 1968 Series 1.5 E-Type Roadster. To mark the production announcement, Jaguar will display an updated version at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, one of the many events that comprise Monterey Car Week.

Jaguar hasn’t finalized specifications for the production model, but the concept uses a 220-kilowatt (295-horsepower) electric motor mounted where the transmission would normally go. A new prop shaft allows the motor to mate with the stock E-Type rear differential. A 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack sits under the hood. Jaguar claims it has the same dimensions, and similar weight, to the inline-six engine that previously resided there.

The E-Type Zero concept can achieve 170 miles of range, according to Jaguar. That is more than a current-generation Nissan Leaf. Recharging takes six to seven hours. Jaguar previously said the E-Type Zero could do 0 to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds, which the automaker claimed as 1 second quicker than the stock, gasoline-powered version.

Purists may question the idea of modifying a classic car in this way, but it makes perfect sense for Jaguar. The E-Type Zero was developed using components from the British automaker’s I-Pace electric crossover (Jaguar also got some help from Croatian supercar maker Rimac). At the same time, converting E-Types to electric power makes good use of Jaguar’s Classic Works restoration division, which has already worked its magic on the E-Type in the form of meticulous restorations of original cars and recreation of the famous Lightweight E-Type race car.

Jaguar won’t discuss pricing, but it is taking reservations from E-Type owners looking to have their cars converted to electric power. The electric conversions will be fully reversible “to preserve the authenticity of the base vehicle,” a Jaguar statement said. More importantly for collectors, that helps preserve value should the owner decide to sell. The automotive industry may be moving toward an electric future, but collectors will always value originality above all else.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Entry-level Cadillac Optiq EV promises 300 miles of range for $54,000
2025 Cadillac Optiq front three quarter view.

The 2025 Cadillac Optiq will be the General Motors luxury brand's entry-level EV when it starts production late this fall. But it won't have entry-level specs.

After unveiling the Optiq in November 2023, Cadillac is now filling in some of the blanks on this electric crossover SUV's spec sheet. We now know that the Optiq will feature a standard dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain tuned for 300 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, along with an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack providing an estimated range of over 300 miles. Like other GM EVs, the Optiq will be capable of one-pedal driving, with regenerative braking adjustable via a steering wheel paddle.

Read more
2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally first drive: old pony learns new trick
2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally driving on dirt.

With its Mustang Mach-E, Ford promised an electric SUV imbued with the spirit of the iconic Mustang performance car. Now well into its production run, the Mach-E is living up to its Mustang billing in that, like the traditional internal-combustion Mustang coupe and convertible, Ford wants to grow the herd of Mach-E variants.

Introduced for the 2021 model year, the Mach-E is nearing the point where most vehicles would see a redesign, or at least a major update. That seems especially pressing given the accumulation of fresher competition in the form of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Chevrolet Blazer EV. But instead of a redesign, the big news for the 2024 Mustang Mach-E is a new Rally model designed for dirt-road driving.

Read more
Kia EV3 vs Hyundai Ioniq 5: Can the EV3 take out Hyundai’s best EV?
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV3 has finally been announced, and it could well become the best low-cost electric car yet. The new EV keeps many of the design elements that I loved about the Kia EV9, but in a much smaller body and likely at a much lower price.

However, the Kia EV3 will go head-to-head with a number of other electric cars that we already consider to be the best in the lower-cost segment. One of those is the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is loved for its stylish design, solid range, and superfast charging speed.

Read more