You can bat around contenders for the “most beautiful electric car” all day, but if you ask us, there’s only one car deserving of that title, and it’s the new Jaguar E-Type Zero.
Based on a ’68 Roadster restored and converted by the automaker’s own Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Coventry, the Zero uses electric motors to pull off zero-to-100 km/h times of 5.5 seconds, about one second quicker than an original E-Type Series I.
It does all this while, of course, returning zero emissions—hence the name. “Our aim with the E-type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership,” explained Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land
Rover Classic, in a press release.
The E-Type Zero uses all of the original vintage suspension, brakes, and other components, replacing only the drivetrain, some retro-inspired-but-modernized instruments, and the headlights, which get LED units. The 40-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is roughly the same size and shape as the original XK six-cylinder engine and fits in its place; the electric motor goes where the gearbox used to be.
As a result, front-rear weight distribution and handling characteristics remain virtually unchanged, and the car is actually about 46 kg (100 lbs) lighter than its gas-powered progenitor. The swap back to a gasoline engine can be performed quickly and easily, too.
The 220-kW electric drivetrain borrows some componentry from Jaguar’s upcoming I-PACE electric SUV due out next year. Range is about 270 km (170 miles).
Jaguar says it’s using the E-Type Zero to gauge public reaction before it decides whether it wants to make the car more than a one-off, though Hannig also notes the simple in-out swap of the XK engine means a similar conversion could be pulled off on any classic Jag with that engine, from an XK120 to an XJ6.