Some of you may have noticed a rather big wedding in London last month. Perhaps of most interest to classic car enthusiasts was the fact that after tying the matrimonial knot, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle travelled from the official reception at Windsor Castle to the subsequent party at Frogmore House in a Jaguar E-type. And not just any E-type, but a Jaguar E-type Concept Zero leased especially for the occasion.
Engineered by Jaguar Land Rover Classic at the company’s new ‘Classic Works’ in Warwickshire and unveiled in September last year, the E-type Zero is based on 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type Roadster. However, while it looks much like any other Jaguar E-type, performance comes from a specially designed electric powertrain developing 220kW. Together with its lithium-ion battery pack, this has the same dimensions and a similar weight to the XK six-cylinder engine it replaces and it has been put in precisely the same location, so the car’s structure, suspension and brakes have not changed. As a result it drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type. It is faster though, sprinting from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds – about one second quicker than an original E-type!
Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said at the time of its unveiling: “E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification. This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation. Our aim with E-type Zero is to future-proof classic car ownership, and we could use this technology to transform any classic XK-engined Jaguar.”
Of course, the cynics amongst us might point out that even taking the scenic route, from Windsor Castle to Frogmore House is only a couple of miles, meaning there was little chance of the newlyweds running out of charge on the journey and getting stranded…