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The Most Beautiful Car Ever Made Is Going Electric

September 7, 2017

1:30 pm

In 1961, Jaguar rolled out its E-type sports car, a 4.2 liter, open two-seater that could reach 150 mph and go zero to 60 in sub-7 seconds. It was such an amazing blend of design and performance that Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made”.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will unveil their new electric car at the JLR Tech Fest, a revamping the classic E-Type car and adding an electric powertrain. Named E-type Zero, this car will look and drive like its name sake but will come with the same sporty feel expected from the original model.

The e-powertrain has a lithium-ion battery pack with the same dimensions, and similar weight, to the original XK six-cylinder engine used in the E-type engine. This motor will go from 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds, only about one second quicker than the original and you’re not spewing emissions while you’re zipping around.

“E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification,” said Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic. “This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation. Our aim with the E-type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership. We’re looking forward to the reaction of our clients as we investigate bringing this concept to market.”

For owners of the original E-Type car between 1949 until 1992, including the E-Type XK120, Mk2 and XJ6, Jaguar created the electric engine that could retrofit into their model.

“We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point,” Hannig said. “We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA. We could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engine Jaguar.”

The E-Type Zero will go on sale in 2018.

E-Type Zero motor

With European vehicle manufacturers under more pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, CEO of JLR Dr. Ralf Speth also announced that from 2020 all new JLR vehicles will be electrified.

“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year,” Speth said in a press release.

JLR doesn’t stop there, they are unveiling a new autonomous concept car FUTURE-TYPE that looks right out of TRON and it has one wild connected steering wheel called “Sayer.”

Sayer

This voice-activated, AI, removable steering wheel will not only drive your car, but help you get tasks done and send the car to come pick you up. Sayer comes with a membership of the on-demand service club where you can either own the car or have the option of sharing this luxury car with others in your community, meaning you must hold on to the steering wheel at home to use the car. With all the voice assistants becoming part of the home, why not talk into a steering wheel?

“FUTURE-TYPE offers an insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future. It’s part of our vision for how a luxury car brand could continue to be desirable, in a more digital and autonomous age,” said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar.

 

“Our FUTURE-TYPE Concept is an advanced research project looking at how we can ensure an on-demand Jaguar will appeal to customers in 2040 and beyond. Whether it’s commuting to work, autonomously collecting children from school or enjoying driving yourself on the weekend in the countryside, if there’s a choice of on-demand cars driving around city streets, we need to ensure customers desire our 24/7 service over our competitors.”

All of the new cars will be available for viewing at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, which opens to the public on September 8 in London.

Read more about autonomous vehicles coming on the market at TechCo

Photos courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

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Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.

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