13 Sep A New/Old Jaguar E-Type with a Secret
I’m having a bit of crisis these days and it is connected to the electric car of the future and the gasoline powered car of the past and present. I recently got to spend 8 hours behind the wheel of the Tesla Model S P100D, which is Tesla’s flagship model for performance, range, and options. This wasn’t the first Tesla I’ve been in or driven, but it was much improved compared to its predecessors.
You see, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about electrification because of the lack of noise and driver involvement, which to me, really adds to the driving experience. My fear is that electric cars will all look and feel like a Prius – not special and with an overall feeling of dullness. With the Tesla I actually didn’t miss the noise as much as I thought I would. I think that has a lot to do with its competition because the majority of those cars are also pretty quiet (see Mercedes S-Class). Also, the Tesla isn’t boring or dull. So, that’s good news. But how would you feel about the lack of engine noise when it comes to a sports car? Now imagine that sports car is a convertible.
This leads me to my latest discovery, the Jaguar E-Type Zero.
Just a few days ago the Jaguar Land Rover Classic department debuted the vehicle you see here, which is in fact, a fully factory restored 1965 Jaguar E-Type Roadster. It looks wonderful, especially with the light blue color and the black interior. It’s easily one of the best looking cars of all time. But this particular one has a secret. Everything is restored to 1965 expect the engine is replaced with an all-electric motor. The dash and center console are also modernized with an automatic transmission selector and a rather large LCD screen. That means you can have all the style of the 1960s without any emissions and without any noise. It’s really quite a clever setup. They hid the charging port under the fuel cap. They left the majority of the trunk space intact. Really, everything apart from a small section of the interior is very 1960s. It can do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds, which is faster than the original, and it goes up to 170 miles before it needs a charge.
Now the question I’m struggling to answer is, how much of the exciting Jaguar E-Type driving experience felt through the exhaust note and the manual gearbox? I think quite a lot, actually. But on the other hand this beautiful car is capable of traveling farther than quite a few popular electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf. It’s quite impressive. The performance and the looks are all intact. So, would you trade the exhaust note and manual transmission for no emissions, a lower cost per mile and a multi-media touch screen? I’m curious to know your thoughts. I, for one, would like to drive it and see for myself what it’s really like.
I do have to give Jaguar credit for one thing. They are one of the few companies that is properly serious about adding electric options to their lineup. The idea of having a classic car that has the looks, the wind in your hair feeling and allows you to charge it up is an interesting concept many in the automobile world haven’t considered before now. For that reason I applaud Jaguar. Now the big question they must decide is, will they sell it?
Photos/Video Courtesy: Jaguar Land Rover Classic