If Jaguar told us right now that it had developed a working time machine and trotted out its ‘new’ Lightweight E-Type as evidence… we’d believe it.
Revealed today as the first example of a project to build the remaining six of of a planned 18-car run, this new Lightweight is a tribute to Jaguar’s 1960s racers.
Those Le Mans-battling the ‘Special GT E-type’ Lightweight cars saw little success, but they were handsome and competitive - and the crowds loved them.
The original cars - and these ‘new’ ones - were built with a liberal application of aluminium and driven by a 224kW 3.8 litre aluminium-block straight six mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.
That aluminium construction, along with a minimal interior trim and a lack of the usual garnishes, the special racers weighed around 114kg less than the standard E-type.
There’s a twin-wishbone suspension design at the front and an independent wide-based wishbone arrangement up back, and the whole package sits on 15-inch racing wheels.
The last of the 12 existing Lightweight E-types was built in 1964, but Jaguar’s Heritage outfit - part of the new Special Operations group - has promised to build the remaining six cars for established collectors .
"The E-type is an iconic car, and the Lightweight E-tpe is the most desirable model of all," Director of the Jaguar's Heritage Business arm, Derek Weale, said.
"To be able to complete the intended production run of 18, some 50 years after the last Lightweight was completed, is an opportunity we couldn't miss".
To ensure collectability and loyalty to the program, the ‘new’ cars will be built to the exact specifications of the originals.
So extensive is the rebuild, that Jaguar’s team took digital scans for the hand-built cars to ensure a perfect match to the original design.
As these photos show, Jaguar hasn’t cut any corners.
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