Our favorite part of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle had to be the car: A beautiful Series I Jaguar E-Type convertible, converted to run a full electric drivetrain. It was a concept vehicle that Jaguar first showed off in September 2017, and after a great reception as part of the Royal Wedding, it’s headed for production.
That’s right: Today, Jaguar announced that it will build a limited run of electric-converted E-Types for sale, and will offer electric conversion to current E-Type owners. Ordering begins now, with the first deliveries slated for summer 2020.
The conversion replaces the Jag’s 4.2-liter straight six engine and four-speed manual transmission with an all-electric drivetrain. The 40kWh battery takes the place of the engine, while the electric motor nestles where the transmission used to be. The entire electric drivetrain hooks up to the original engine and transmission mounts and drives the original rear differential, meaning that there’s no modification whatsoever to the vehicle body or chassis during the conversion. Jaguar assures us that every aspect of the conversion is fully reversible.
What’s more, the conversion won’t drastically alter the E-Type driving experience: The new electric drivetrain weighs almost exactly the same as the original engine and transmission. Front-to-rear weight distribution is unchanged, and braking and cornering should be nearly identical to a factory E-Type. Jaguar says the electric drivetrain will offer quicker acceleration than the original gas-burning engine, and that the battery can be recharged within six to seven hours. The modernized dashboard, with touchscreen infotainment system and digital instrument panel, will be optional.
This most recent E-Type Zero, painted in a lovely shade of bronze, makes its US debut at Monterey Car Week this weekend. Technical specifications and pricing details have not yet been released, and Jaguar has not said how many electric E-Type conversions it will sell. But we love the idea of a reversible, no-cutting EV conversion that preserves a great car’s original driving dynamics. That’s a vintage car future we can get behind.