A prototype of the first new Jaguar Lightweight E-Types to be built in more than 50 years has been revealed ahead of a debut at Pebble Beach 2014.
Back in May we revealed Jaguar Land Rover’s new Heritage part of JLR’s Special Operations Division were planning to create six new Lightweight E-Types, the ‘Missing 6’ from the original production run in 1963. And now we get to see the first prototype.
The new Lightweight E-Types will complete the planned run of 18 cars from 1963 – the Special GT E Project – using the remaining, unused, chassis numbers from the original run, effectively making these new E-Types able to compete in historic racing events.
The body – just as it was in 1963 – will be a lightweight aluminium bodyshell (saving 114kg over a standard E-Type) built at Browns Lane using the same original construction methods as the first cars after Jaguar digitally scanned original body panels to ensure total accuracy.
Under the beautiful aluminium skin, the Lightweight E-Types get twin wishbone suspension at the front and independent wishbones at the back, uprated shock absorbers, larger brake discs at the front, 15″ steel wheels and rack and pinion steering.
The engine is the same aluminium-block 3.8 litre straight six, which is good for over 300hp and 280lb/ft of torque – based on the engine that powered the D-Type – and gets dry-sump lubrication, a trio of Weber carburettors (or Lucas Fuel Injection as an option), modern inertia starter, aluminium radiators and a four-speed manual gearbox sending drive to the back wheels.
Inside is as basic as it was in 1963, with just a pair of simple seats and a wooden steering wheel with plenty of body coloured surfaces on display, but it seems likely the lucky six buyers will specify their own interiors.
Derek Weale, Director, Jaguar Heritage Business, said:
Operating from a brand new workshop at Browns Lane – now open for the restoration and servicing of customer cars – the building of six new, meticulously crafted Lightweight E-type period competition cars by Jaguar Heritage is testament to the unique skills within the team.
To know those same skills can also be utilised to the benefit of existing classic Jaguar owners means this is a very exciting time for Jaguar Heritage.
This particular Lightweight E-Type (the one in the photos above and video below) is the prototype for the new Lightweights – ‘Car Zero’ – will debut at Pebble Beach this week and the short run of six new Lightweight E-Types will be built in 2015.
The big question is probably ‘How much will the new Jaguar Lightweight E-Type cost?’ Jaguar aren’t saying, but it’s got to be heading up towards £1 million.