Harry and Meghan’s Jaguar E-Type EV

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID LIN­KLATER

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wed­ding car was lit­er­ally some­thing old, some­thing, some­thing bor­rowed and some­thing blue.

The royal cou­ple drove away in a Jaguar E-Type Zero, a clas­sic 1968 E-Type road­ster that has been con­verted to run on cut­ting-edge elec­tric power.

The car is owned by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Clas­sic Works (which is why it was bor­rowed) and . . . well, you can see it’s blue.

The one-of-a-kind E-Type was first seen in Septem­ber last year at the JLR Tech Fest at Cen­tral Saint Martins, Univer­sity of the Arts, Lon­don.

The Zero is in­tended to be both an il­lus­tra­tion of what Clas­sic Works is ca­pa­ble of, and a tan­gi­ble link be­tween the clas­sic Jaguar brand and its new-gen­er­a­tion EVs – like the i-Pace, which was dis­played along­side the Zero at Tech Fest.

Jaguar claims the Zero drives like an E-Type (you’d have to ask Harry about that), but of­fers ‘‘fu­ture proofed’’ clas­sic car own­er­ship.

Zero to 100kmh takes 5.5sec, about one sec­ond quicker than a con­ven­tional Se­ries 1 E-Type.

It could have been much faster of course, but JLR says per­for­mance was de­lib­er­ately lim­ited to pre­serve the clas­sic­mo­tor­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

The base for the Zero is a re­stored ‘‘Se­ries 1.5’’ Road­ster. It’s to­tally orig­i­nal in spec­i­fi­ca­tion, apart from its state-of-the-art pow­er­train and mod­i­fied in­stru­men­ta­tion and fa­cia – al­though th­ese are also in­spired by the orig­i­nal E-type. LED head­lights are also used to achieve en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. Again, they adopt the styling themes of the orig­i­nal Se­ries 1 E-type.

An elec­tric pow­er­train de­vel­op­ing 220kW was spe­cially de­signed for the Zero. Its lithium-ion bat­tery pack has the same di­men­sions, and sim­i­lar weight, to the XK six-cylin­der en­gine used in the orig­i­nal E-type.

The elec­tric pow­er­train is also placed in pre­cisely the same lo­ca­tion as the XK en­gine.

The elec­tric mo­tor (and re­duc­tion gear) lies just be­hind the bat­tery pack, in the same lo­ca­tion as the E-type’s gear­box. A new prop­shaft sends power to a carry-over dif­fer­en­tial and fi­nal drive. To­tal weight is 46kg lower than the orig­i­nal E-type.

Us­ing an elec­tric pow­er­train with sim­i­lar weight and di­men­sions to the out­go­ing petrol en­gine and trans­mis­sion means the car’s struc­ture, in­clud­ing sus­pen­sion and brakes, has not changed, sim­pli­fy­ing the con­ver­sion and ho­molo­ga­tion. Front-rear weight dis­tri­bu­tion is un­changed.

The XK six-cylin­der en­gine was made from 1949 un­til 1992, and was fit­ted to nearly all iconic Jaguar mod­els of that pe­riod, in­clud­ing the E-type, XK120, Mk2 and XJ6. The new elec­tric pow­er­train could be used in any of th­ese ve­hi­cles.

The E-type, launched in 1961, is reg­u­larly called the best­look­ing car of all time. Even Enzo Ferrari called it ‘‘the most beau­ti­ful car ever made’’.

The E-type Zero has a ‘‘real world’’ range of 270km, helped by the low weight and good aero­dy­nam­ics. It uses a 40kWh bat­tery, which can be recharged from home overnight (typ­i­cally in six to seven hours, de­pend­ing on power source).

Jaguar E-Type Zero was cre­ated by the mar­que’s Clas­sic Works di­vi­sion: clas­sic mo­tor­ing with pure-elec­tric power.

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