EVLN: Jaguar restored an old E-type with an Electric upgrade (v)

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EVLN: Jaguar restored an old E-type with an Electric upgrade (v)

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Jaguar has restored this old E-type with an electric upgrade
9/7/2017  Jonathan M. Gitlin







The batteries and motor are the same size and shape as the old XK

Ask any enthusiast and they'll tell you the same thing—if you want to build
a good electric vehicle, you have to start from the ground up. You sandwich
the battery pack between the axles, keep the center of gravity nice and low
to counteract all that weight, and go from there. That's why cars like the
Model S or Bolt are so much better than Californian compliance cars. But
we'll make an exception for electric restomods, stuff like one of
Zelectric's electric air-cooled conversions [
]. Jaguar evidently agrees with our exception; while next year's I-Pace was
designed as an EV from the ground up, you can't say the same for its latest,
the E-type Zero.

The starting point was a Series 1.5 E-type convertible, built in Coventry
some time between 1967 and 1968. More recently it returned to the city and
to Jaguar, which has a nice sideline these days restoring its old cars and
even building continuations of things like the XKSS. Here's where things get
really interesting. Rather than just give it a nuts and bolts restoration
before selling it to a deep pocketed Jaguar lover, someone decided to take
out the old XK straight six engine along with the rest of the drivetrain and
replace it with an electric motor and batteries.

Instead of an engine block up front, there's a 40kWh lithium-ion battery
pack. The 220kW (295hp) motor comes next, where you'd expect to see a
gearbox. From there, a prop shaft sends power to the rear wheels via a
differential. But here's the really cool bit: the new powertrain has roughly
the same weight and dimensions as the old one, and the weight distribution
and center of gravity are where they were supposed to be. That obviates any
real worries about having to reengineer the car, since it will still handle
like it did in period, this time without the help of any leaded gasoline.
(In fact, the car is actually about 100lbs/46kg lighter now and a little
more powerful so it actually performs better than the original.)

Further Reading
Jaguar Land Rover to electrify all its cars by 2020
The E-type Zero reveal was accompanied with an announcement [
] that from 2020, each new Jaguar and Land Rover model will have the option
of some form of electrification. Speaking at a tech forum that the company
is holding over in the UK currently, Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO,
said, "We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our
model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid
vehicles." Volvo made a similar announcement in July [

As amazing as the thought would be, I can't see the factory agreeing to put
this in a C-type or D-type for me.
Enlarge / As amazing as the thought would be, I can't see the factory
agreeing to put this in a C-type or D-type for me.

The E-type Zero has plenty of nerd appeal, although we imagine there might
be a purist or two out there who considers what Jaguar's Classic Works have
done to be sacrilege. Happily for those folks, the conversion here is
actually pretty minor; other than the new powertrain, some LED headlights,
and a new dashboard and instruments, the car hasn't been messed with. "We
have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type
structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any
point. We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains
authentic to its DNA," explained Tim Hanning, director of Jaguar Land Rover

Thanks to the E-type's aerodynamic efficiency, the 40kWh battery is good for
about 170 miles of range. And because it's practically a drop-in replacement
for the old XK engine, JLR Classic should be able to take the technology and
stick it in any of the XK-engined cars built. Hanning said that the idea
with the E-type Zero was "to future-proof classic car ownership," adding
that the company is exploring whether there's a market for EV conversions
that would cost about $400,000.
[© WIRED Media]

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