This month at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, Jaguar revealed the electric E-type Concept Zero. The futuristic take on a classic car is the result of work done by the company’s Classic Works division in Warwickshire, the brand’s in-house skunkworks dedicated to the preservation and recreation of heritage models.
Jaguar’s Future-Type concept, as recently reported by CarsGuide, sets out a vision of driverless electric cars which effectively rewrites the traditional layout of a vehicle. This preservation of the much-loved E-type is more like future-proofing, with Concept Zero showcasing how classic car ownership may be possible in a world where petrol is unavailable.
Dubbed internally as Project Dylan, in honour of the famous musician Bob Dylan’s swap from acoustic to electric guitar, Concept Zero started life as a 1968 Series 1.5 E-type Roadster restored by the Classic Works with a few subtle, but significant, alterations.
A 40kWh lithium-ion battery unit sits under its long nose, tweaked to fit with near-identical dimensions to the original straight-six engine. The manual transmission has been replaced by an electric motor with reduction gear, which feeds power via a custom prop shaft to the differential and final drive of the original.
The electric unit’s likeness to the petrol engine has simplified the conversion process and permitted the use of original-spec E-type suspension and brakes.
Amazingly the Concept Zero’s overall weight is actually 46kg, lighter than a regular E-type, which along with similar weight distribution means that the drive, ride, handling and braking of the original car is largely intact.
The electric motor delivers 295bhp for a claimed 0-62mph time of 5.5s, which is about a second faster than before. A range of 168 miles is quoted and the battery can be recharged within seven hours.
You can differentiate the Concept Zero model externally by its missing twin exhausts, while the eagle-eyed might spot LED headlights.
Inside is a different story, with classic seats and door trims paired with a modern dash and complete with carbon trim, digital instruments from a current model and a multimedia screen.
All changes are reversible, in case you ever want to replace its original straight-six and four-speed manual drivetrain.
The Concept Zero’s electric power source could also be used to convert any XK-engine vehicle, so the XK-120, Mk2 and XJ6 models may be future-proofed next.