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PRE­SERV­ING OLDER mod­els and their brand her­itage is turn­ing into big buck op­er­a­tions for a hand­ful of pres­tige brands, in­clud­ing Jaguar, that have es­tab­lished clas­sic works cen­tres.

BMW started back in 2006 and Porsche has been at it for many years now, re­cently set­ting up Clas­sic Porsche Cen­tre in Mel­bourne.

With As­ton Martin hav­ing con­verted its old Newport Pag­nell pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity into a clas­sic works, we now have Jaguar Land Rover Clas­sic; this of­fi­cial source of au­then­tic Jaguar cars, ex­pert ser­vices and gen­uine parts has opened its doors in Coven­try.

Jaguar E-Type own­ers from around the world can ship their cars to Coven­try for any­thing from a light fet­tle, to a tech­nolog y up­date, or a full resto. A ma­jor step cur­rently un­der eval­u­a­tion will be ditch­ing the en­gine and re­plac­ing it with an elec­tric mo­tor.

The E-Type Zero as it's known made its de­but scoot­ing Harry and Meghan, bet­ter known as the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex, away from the Wind­sor nup­tials to the re­cep­tion.

This first ex­am­ple was based on a 1968 Se­ries 1.5 road­ster that had been re­stored. Out came the XK six-cylinder en­gine and in went an elec­tric mo­tor, co-de­vel­oped by an elec­tric pow­er­train spe­cial­ist and Jaguar Land Rover engi­neers, us­ing tech­nolog y and com­po­nents bor­rowed from the Jaguar I-PACE SUV, the mar­que's first pro­duc­tion al­l­elec­tric ve­hi­cle.

Don't think for a mo­ment it is go­ing to be a whirring slug that will de­value the al­lure of the badge. Although the sweet ex­haust note dis­ap­pears, per­for­mance re­mains with a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 sec­onds, around a sec­ond quicker than the orig­i­nal E-Type. Ac­cord­ing to Jaguar they have lim­ited the power out­put of the elec­tric pow­er­train to pro­vide the op­ti­mum driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Tim Han­nig, Direc­tor, Jaguar Land Rover Clas­sic, said: “Our aim with 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.”

The E-type Zero's be­spoke elec­tric pow­er­train de­vel­ops 220kW and de­liv­ers a re­al­world range of 270kms be­fore re­quir­ing a six- to seven-hour charge. Its lithium-ion bat­tery pack sits in the same lo­ca­tion as the XK six-cylinder en­gine with the elec­tric mo­tor and re­duc­tion gear placed where the gear­box used to be. A new prop­shaft sends power to a carr y-over dif­fer­en­tial and fi­nal drive.

Tim Han­nig added: “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.”

Not ready to step that far but want the con­ve­nience of mod­ern day in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem? Then this is for you: Jaguar Land Rover Clas­sic has also in­tro­duced a mod­ern day com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem for the E-Type; this op­tion pro­vides 21st cen­tury func­tion­al­ity in an au­then­tic-look­ing, clas­si­cally styled head-unit.

The in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem in­cor­po­rates cus­tomis­able satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion in up to 32 lan­guages, smart­phone in­te­gra­tion, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and dual DAB/ DAB+ dig­i­tal ra­dio, as well as FM and AM ana­logue re­cep­tion.

Its branded black or chrome face­plates are in keep­ing with the orig­i­nal car's dash-styling and the sys­tem is con­trolled by a 3.5-inch high-res­o­lu­tion touch­screen in­te­grated between tra­di­tional ro­tary con­trols and but­tons. Its nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems can be dis­played as 2D or 3D maps, or as turn ar­row in­struc­tions. It can also pro­vide cur­rent traf­fic alerts.

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