HomeThe MarketJaguar restores a classic E-type roadster, but with electric power

Jaguar restores a classic E-type roadster, but with electric power


(Editor’s note: Much was made this past weekend of the vintage but electric-powered E-type Jaguar driven to their wedding reception by British Prince Harry and his American bride Meghan Markle. Bob Golfen reported on the electrified E-type back in September 2017 and we are republishing his article here today so you don’t have to go searching for it.) 

This 1968 Jaguar E-type appears to be a lovingly restored roadster from a half century ago, but it actually is a high-tech concept that looks directly into the future.

Called the E-type Zero, the roadster is no longer powered by its classic 4.2-liter DOHC six-cylinder engine but features a fully electric drivetrain engineered by Jaguar Land Rover Classic. The Jaguar will make its debut during the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest held September 8-10 at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts in London.

Royal wedding car, Jaguar restores a classic E-type roadster, but with electric power, ClassicCars.com Journal
The battery pack and motor fit where the original drivetrain would be | Jaguar photos

At a time when modern electric vehicles seem to be making major advances both technologically and in the marketplace, and collector car owners wonder about what the future might hold, the intent of Jaguar was to produce a classic car that retains its style and performance while emitting zero emissions and consuming no fossil fuel, the automaker said in a news release.

“Our aim with the E-type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership,” Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, says in a news release. “We’re looking forward to the reaction of our clients as we investigate bringing this concept to market.”

The electric E-type stays true to the driving characteristics of the original, according to the engineers at Classic Works in Warwickshire, UK, where the car was produced. Special attention was made to create a battery pack and motor that would fit directly into the space where the engine and transmission would be in the original car, ensuring comparable balance and weight distribution.

Royal wedding car, Jaguar restores a classic E-type roadster, but with electric power, ClassicCars.com Journal
The dashboard has been updated with electronic gauges and controls

The electric roadster weighs about 100 pounds less than the original, with the basic structure, steering and suspension remaining unchanged, Jaguar says.

“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 is also quick, sprinting from zero to 60 in 5.5 seconds, shaving a second off the time of a gas-powered E-type, although doubtless the rich exhaust thrum of the straight-six will be absent.

Royal wedding car, Jaguar restores a classic E-type roadster, but with electric power, ClassicCars.com Journal
Electronic gear replaces the fuel tank

The driving range for the E-type Zero is around 170 miles before needing a recharge, which Jaguar says can be done overnight at home, with power provided by a 220kW electric motor fed by a 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

“The unique electric powertrain of the E-type Zero was developed by an electric powertrain specialist in conjunction with Jaguar Land Rover engineers and to a specific brief from Jaguar Land Rover Classic,” the news release says. “It uses some technology and components borrowed from the upcoming I-PACE, the first production all-electric vehicle from Jaguar Land Rover.”

The E-type Zero will be displayed at the Tech Fest alongside the I-Pace Concept, Jaguar said, giving visitors a look at both the probable future of transportation and the possible future of classic cars.

Jaguar Land Rover announced Thursday in advance of Tech Fest that all of its vehicles starting with 2020 models will be electrified, either gas/electric hybrid or fully electric. The company also has revealed a sleekly futuristic and fully autonomous electric concept car, the Future-Type, which the automaker says represents its vision for the car of 2040.


Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. I want to buy a nice corvette for around 50 grand, what about spending a bunch more for a s model tesla ? Watch disruptive tecnoliges before responding , thanks just looking for non biased opinion.

  2. I’m a french jaguar lover since 60 years ! ( I’m seventy now ! )
    How much would cost such an elctrified jaguar ? I would like to run a race with My friend Prince Harry !

  3. The Jag does not look like a ‘68. The covered headlights were discontinued after the 1967 model year … yet this story continues. Can some Jag aficionado please validate?

  4. It was very kool too see the bride and groom ride in a electric car good luck to the bride and groom/ come vist us sometime in USA!!!


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