CLASSIC E-TYPES REBORN: Jaguar will build six of its famous lightweight E-types based on the original 1964 specifications. Image: Jaguar
LONDON, England - Jaguar has revealed the prototype of its ‘new’ Lightweight E-type – a further six of which will be built and sold.
Jaguar announced in May 2014 that it would recreate six new 'lightweights', each built by Jaguar Heritage, part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new special operations division.
The automaker says each of the six cars will be built to a specification derived from the last lightweight E-type produced in 1964 and will be hand-crafted at the original home of the E-type, Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry, England.
'MISSING' SIX E-TYPES
The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes.
Jaguar claims the new cars are the 'missing' six vehicles from the 'Special GT E-type' project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 cars. Only 12 of the aluminium-bodied lightweight E-types were eventually built and the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Jaguar lightweight E-Type prototype
The six cars will carry those original, historic chassis numbers.
The core component is its aluminium bodyshell. This material replaced the steel of the production E-type in the quest to shed weight – some 114kg were saved compared with the standard car.
Everyone, when offered the chance to assist with this unique project, lept at the opportunity.
Some even have an indirect link with the E-type when it was new: one master technician calculated that his family – including his grandparents, his father and his uncle – had a collective 170 years' service at Jaguar stretching back to the early 1960s.
1957 LE MANS POWER
The lightweight E-type was powered by a highly developed version of Jaguar's straight-six XK engine which produces 254kW/380Nm mated to a four-speed manual.
It uses a chain-driven twin overhead camshafts and aluminium head with hemispherical combustion chambers, remained highly advanced in 1963 even though it had first been seen in the XK 120 as far back as 1948.
So the six chosen customers will each receive the rarest of things – a brand new lightweight E-Type, hand-built at Browns Lane and just as desirable as one of the originals.
Jaguar's director of design, Ian Callum, said: "With the lightweight E-type, our focus as a design team has been to ensure justice was done to the original work of Sir William Lyons and Malcolm Sayer. Meticulous attention to detail has been everything to us in re-creating this car, just as it is in our contemporary Jaguars.
"I believe the result is a new lightweight E-type that is as stunning now as the originals would have been when they were new.”
Connolly leather is used, supplied by Jonathan Connolly with hides produced to the same specification as those used by Jaguar in the 1960s. This leather is used to trim the competition-type aluminium bucket seat base. The centre console covering is also leather, and there is a choice of seven trim colours, says the automaker.
Interior trim is minimal, however, customers can opt for a more fully-trimmed car and the Jaguar team can devise bespoke packages. This may include door cards, headliner for the hardtop, removable custom saddle-leather floor mats, and a cover for the transmission tunnel.