Finishing the run of legends.
The newly-formed Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Division is making quite a name for itself in the world of exclusive high-performance automobiles. There’s the Jaguar F-Type Project 7, the Range Rover Sport SVR, and now they’re turning back the clock and finishing the production run of the original 18 Jaguar Lightweight E-Type with Jaguar Heritage.
The year was 1963 and Jaguar set forth plans to build 18 Lightweight E-Types using aluminum and advanced technology to compete on the race track. Only 12 cars were completed and raced in GT competition as “standard” roadsters, achieving great success with legendary drivers behind the wheel. The remaining six chassis numbers that were originally reserved remained unused for 50 years, until today. With only 11 of the original cars remaining, Jaguar is building the final six units with the newly-formed Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations team under the Jaguar Heritage banner.
Technology and materials have improved exponentially in the 50 years since the last Jaguar Lightweight E-Type rolled off the factory line. The goal for the Jaguar Heritage team, however, is to keep the six cars as original as possible, using the same aluminum and materials during the build process. Advanced scanning technology digitally mapped every aspect of the original model’s exterior and all 230 of the body’s components. Each car, including the recently-finished ‘Car Zero’ prototype will be hand-built at the Browns Lane facility in Coventry, England where the original models were produced.
The Jaguar Lightweight E-Types will have a full aluminum body shell that reduced weight by 250 lbs. when it was first introduced compared to the production steel bodies. About 75-percent of the panels are made in-house with the remaining stampings being supplied externally using Jaguar-designed tooling. Each car will also be given an aluminum hood, doors, and trunklid along with an aluminum hard top. Also coming standard will be a roll cage and mounting points for a detachable front extension as an option.
The lightweight, original attention-to-detail mindset was kept when it came to the chassis as well. The Jaguar Lightweight E-Type models feature a double-wishbone front suspension and independent wide-based wishbone rear suspension with a period-specific racing setup. Upgraded, period-specific shock absorbers help out with the front torsion bars and rear coil springs to give drivers a direct and communicative feel. That responsiveness can be felt in the standard E-Type rack-and-pinion steering with classic wood steering wheel rim.
Gripping and stopping the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type are traditional racing wheels and brakes. Special ‘perforated’ designed cast magnesium alloy wheels are fitted to both axles in a 7.0 J x 15 front and 8.0 J x 15 rear setup with matching 6.00L15 CR65 and 6.50L15 CR65 Dunlop racing tires. Behind those wheels sit bigger 12.0-inch discs up front and standard E-Type 11.25-inch brakes at the rear.
Although the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type may be 50 years old, the engine that powers it is based on a unit that was first put into service in 1948 with the Jaguar XK 120. The tuned version of the 3.8-liter, inline-six cylinder engine is a variation of the same unit that powered D-Type that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1957. Instead of the cast iron block, the Lightweight E-Type uses an aluminum block to cut weight further. A dry sump lubrication system helps to keep oil pressure maintained during hard cornering. Three DCOE carburetors will be used as standard and were originally homologated while a mechanical fuel injection system is being offered as an option and is featured on the prototype ‘Car Zero’. A steel fabricated exhaust system draws off the engine and moves into a center muffler at the rear before it protrudes from the rear with dual polished pipes.
In total, the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type produces 340 horsepower at 6,500 RPM and 280 lb-ft. of torque at 4,500 RPM, making acceleration a breeze with its 2,204.6-lb. weight. A four-speed fully-synchronized, close-ratio transmission with a lightweight, low-inertia flywheel and single-plate clutch does the job of sending power to the rear axle. There, it meets a standard axle ratio of 3.31:1 and a Powr-Lok limited-slip differential for maximum traction.
For the design of the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type, the Jaguar Advanced Design Studio team was charged with using the correct, period-specific materials and design. Aluminum, competition-style bucket seats are trimmed in Connolly leather supplied by Jonathan Connolly with the same specification as the 1960s cars. Leather also covers the center console but much of the trimming is kept to a minimum for the sake of saving weight. Customers will be able to opt for a fully-furnished model with bespoke trim packages. The featured ‘Car Zero’ prototype lacks a painted floorpan, rocker, and rear areas to showcase the aluminum body work.
Each of the six Jaguar Lightweight E-Type cars will be available in seven colors: Carmine Red, Opalescent Grey Metallic, Silver Metallic, Opalescent Blue Metallic, British Racing Green, and Old English White, along with any other kind of bespoke paint if customers so desure. Customers can also change options with Jaguar Director of Design, Ian Callum.
Only six Jaguar Lightweight E-Type models will be produced with the ‘Car Zero’ prototype not taking one of the remaining chassis numbers. Each customer will also be offered one of six bespoke ‘E-Type’ watches from the Bremont Watch Company with their purchase.
Jaguar Lightweight E-Type Specifications
Engine: Aluminum six-cylinder block, wide-angle cylinder head, dry sump lubrication, lightweight low-inertia flywheel.
Displacement: 236.0 cu in (3,868cc)
Bore/Stroke: 3.46in/4.17in (88.0mm/106.0mm)
Valvetrain: 2 valves per cylinder, DOHC
Compression ratio: 10:1
Carburetors: Triple 45 DCOE Weber
Injection (optional): Lucas mechanical, 6.25in (158.7mm) butterfly trumpets
Crankshaft: Steel with steel H-section connecting rods
Power: 340hp/253.5kW @ 6500rpm
Torque: 280lbs ft/380Nm @ 4500rpm
Fuel tank: Mesh-filled 14-gallon (64-liter) capacity
Fuel pump: Standard E-Type
Transmission and Driveline:
Transmission: Jaguar 4-speed fully synchronized close-ratio gearbox
Final drive casing: Cast iron, Powr-Lok limited slip differential, axle ratio 3.31:1
Gearbox oil: Castrol
Clutch: Single dry plate
Suspension and Steering:
Front: Double wishbone, LWE torsion bars, upgraded anti-roll bar
Rear: Independent rear suspension, lower wishbones with the driveshaft acting as upper links, radius arms, anti-roll bar (Standard E-type rear springs with uprated shock absorber assemblies).
Steering: Standard E-Type rack-and-pinion, adjustable steering column
Brake discs (front): 12.00-inch Diameter (305mm)
Brake discs (rear): 11.25-inch Diameter (286mm)
Handbrake: Production E-Type
Wheels and Tires:
Magnesium wheels: Front: 15-inches x 7.0J, Rear 15in x 8.0J
Tires: Front – 6.00L15 CR65, Rear – 6.50L15 CR65
Battery: 12v – 62 amp / hour
System: 12v negative-ground
Lighting: Tungsten headlamps and standard rear tail-lamps
Instruments: Smiths Industries
Generator: Production E-Type
Starter: Production E-Type
Control Box: Production E-Type
Wiper motor and blades: Production E-Type
Exhaust and Cooling:
Exhaust: Fabricated steel manifold, steel exhaust system with center silencer box and twin polished tail pipes.
Cooling: Aluminum E-Type radiator, aluminum expansion header tank, engine oil cooler, oil sump tank.
Length: 175.3-inches (4,453mm)
Width: 66.9-inches (1,700mm)
Height: 46.5in-inches (1,181mm)
Weight: 2204.6lbs (1,000kg)
Wheelbase: 96.1-inches (2,440mm)
Front Track: 50.0-inches (1,270mm)
Rear Track: 55.0-inches (1,397mm)
Body in White and Closures:
-Aluminum unibody with stiffened front sub-frame for race engines above 300hp
-Riveted and welded aluminum construction
-Aluminum body closures (hood/doors/trunk-lid)
-Aluminum detachable hard top roof
-21 louver hood vents
-Black powder-coated roll cage
-Front brake cooling ducts integrated in hood structure
-Side hood-release handles
-‘Long range’ aluminum quick release fuel cap
-Body color cabin ventilation air intakes
-Protective car cover (non-waterproof)
-Center hood safety catch
-Oval door mirror upgrade
-Aluminum bucket seats with increased backrest angle and padded cushions
-Leather selection from Connolly palette
-Wood-rimmed steering wheel
-Aluminum gear knob and standard hand brake
-Machined metal center panel with toggle switches and push button starter
-Five-point competition seat belt harness
-Black instrument panel with glove box
-Hood and trunk stands
-Clear laminated front windscreen
-Perspex® (Polymer) side windows and rear screen
-Manual slide side windows
*Figures are manufacturer’s estimates, subject to change according to customer specification.
Jaguar Lightweight E-Type Gallery