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Little Classics Features: 12 August 2014

Launch Details: Jaguar Heritage Lightweight E-type

Launch Details: Jaguar Heritage Lightweight E-type

When Jaguar announced earlier this year it was making six new “classic” E-Types, we got excited. Now we’re really excited with a load of images, information and even video footage.

It was in May that Jaguar announced that it would recreate six new Lightweights, each built by Jaguar Heritage, part of Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations division.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type

Each of the six cars will be built to a specification originated from the last Lightweight E-type produced in 1964 and will be hand-crafted at the original home of the E-type, Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry, England. The cars will be sold as period competition vehicles and all will be suitable for FIA homologation for historic motorsport purposes.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - on track

The new cars are the 'missing' six vehicles from the 'Special GT E-type' project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 cars. Only 12 of the aluminium-bodied Lightweight E-types were eventually built and the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now. The six new cars will carry those original, historic Lightweight E-type chassis numbers.

Watch the launch video

A race winner in the hands of a variety of famous drivers during its short competitive career, the car has achieved worldwide fame and original examples are now valued in the many millions. In recreating the Lightweight E-type, Jaguar Heritage has been able to call on the superlative skills and experience of many talented engineers and technicians already working in a variety of departments within Jaguar.

Classic Jaguar E-Type Lightweight

All, when offered the chance to assist with this unique project, leapt at the opportunity. Some even have an indirect link with the E-type when it was new: one master technician calculated that his family – including his grandparents, his father and his uncle – had a collective 170 years' service at Jaguar stretching back to the early 1960s.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - interior

The expertise and attention brought to bear on this recreation project is staggering, with the full resources of Jaguar being applied to ensure that the six new Lightweights will not only be authentic, but will also be built to the highest quality standards.

So the six chosen customers will each receive the rarest of things – a brand new Lightweight E-type, hand-built at Browns Lane and just as desirable as one of the originals.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - XK engine

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.”

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - wheel

The core component of the Lightweight E-type is its aluminium bodyshell. This material replaced the steel of the production E-type in the quest to shed weight – some 250lb (114kg) were saved compared with the standard car.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - sunset

Despite the 50-year gap, the aluminium build of the six new Lightweights gives them an immediate affinity with the current Jaguar range, the F-TYPE and XJ models being built to exacting standards with aluminium bodies for exactly the same reason.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - out on track

The Lightweight E-type was powered by a highly developed version of Jaguar's straight-six XK engine which, with its chain-driven twin overhead camshafts and aluminium head with hemispherical combustion chambers, remained highly advanced in 1963 even though it had first been seen in the XK 120 as far back as 1948.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - dial

It was this engine that had powered the C- and D-types to five Le Mans victories in the 1950s, and the unit developed for the Lightweight E-type is based on the 3,868cc (236 cu in) engine which, in the D-type, had won Le Mans in 1957. A similar big valve 'wide angle' cylinder head is used, but in place of the D-type's cast iron block, Jaguar introduced an aluminium block for the Lightweight E-type which substantially reduced the amount of weight over the front wheels. This also features in the present-day car, with pressed-in steel liners.

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type glowing manifold

The details:

Engine: Aluminium six-cylinder block, wide-angle cylinder head, dry sump lubrication, lightweight low-inertia flywheel
Displacement: 236.0 cu in (3,868cc)
Carburettors: Triple 45DCO3 Weber
Injection (optional): Lucas mechanical, 6.25in (158.7mm) butterfly trumpets
Power: 340hp/253.5kW @ 6500rpm
Torque: 280lbs ft/380Nm @ 4500rpm
Transmission: Jaguar 4-speed all-synchro close-ratio gearbox

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - cornering

 

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type exploded engine

 

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - spray booth

 

Jaguar Land Rover reveals new Lightweight E-Type - drawing



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