At some point the sad inevitability of the gasoline engine’s extinction will be realized, but thankfully it’s a ways away yet. It is coming though, and car companies have invested GDP-like amounts of capital into the development of technologies that will be viable in this coming world. It is pretty remarkable I must admit, but the final form that these labors take usually ends up on the uglier side of the automobile’s aesthetic potential. The Prius, the Leaf, the Volt/Bolt (clever…), the Model X. These are not pretty things.
But then we have sources of hope like this: the Jaguar E-Type Zero. Jaguar Land Rover has its own Classic department, as is the fashion nowadays, but they are doing quite a bit more than the typical provisions of OEM parts and services and the issuance of certificates proving that someone has not in fact built their Jag out of a fiberglass kit (seriously, how much are these certificates worth?). In a stated effort to preserve the viability of classic driving experiences going forward, they’ve taken a solid step toward accomplishing their mission in this E-Type. Constructed from a Series 1.5 Roadster, the car has been converted to solely electric power, while retaining all of the beauty of the ’60s design. In a nice touch, they’ve even set up some of the new EV drivetrain to resemble a straight-six underneath the elegant clamshell hood.
The car is not slated for production as of yet, but it’s not being touted as a one-off either, and the company will be showing the car at the JLR Tech Fest in London this weekend as part of a larger judgement of the car’s market viability. The looks are there—have always been there—and the performance aspect isn’t lacking either, with the Zero’s 220kw (just under 300hp) electric motor propelling it to 62 in just 5.5 seconds. With zero emissions. As for the longevity, it’s said to be good for roughly 170 miles of driving (270km), off of a single six to seven-hour charge.
If enough support is thrown behind initiatives like this one, maybe we won’t be relegated to driving the boring blobs we’ve predicted for the future. I don’t know if there’s any real downside to this project, though if there is something inherently offensive in its creation I’m certainly willing to hear it. Perhaps the safety regulations will put a damper on any large-scale production of cars like this, but it’s not like we were ever inundated with E-Types and the like to begin with.