2015 JAGUAR LIGHTWEIGHT E-TYPE
Words by samuel cuthbert & PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF JAGUAR
Ask me to think about Jaguar, and I think E-Type. Hell, if I just think about cars in general I think about the E-Type in the first ten cars that come to mind. I can't control it, the car is an icon. Jaguar's Special Operations team knows this, and they obviously stand among the most die-hard of E-Type fans, so when they announced a very exclusive build of just six lightweight specials, no-one should be surprised that the result is just stunning.
The significance of those six cars is explained by Jaguar; essentially they planned on building 18 lightweight versions of the E-Type but only completed 12 of them. This new run will complete their initial vision and I can only assume serve as a reward for some very lucky Jaguar collectors. How on earth would they select the six?
However they chose them, those six customers will receive an E-Type that weighs 205lbs less than a standard car. The usual carbon fiber over here, titanium bits over there approach? Nope. Instead, Jaguar took the twelfth example itself and scanned half it's body surface, mirrored it to ensure perfect symmetry, and reproduced these six cars with the same standard of materials as in the Sixties. So the weight is saved as it was back in the day, with an aluminium block replacing the iron one surrounding the 3.8-liter inline-six. Further reductions in weight are made
The engine features triple carbs, dry-sump lubrication and optional mechanical fuel-injection to deliver upwards of 300 horsepower and about 280 pound-feet of torque, channeled through a four-speed manual, fully synchronized with a single-plate clutch, lightweight flywheel and a limited slip differential. The Lightweight houses the same rear brakes as the standard E-Type but upgraded front discs, with no servo, fitted to a double wishbone front and independent wishbone rear suspension. The rack-and-pinion steering is fitted to a wood rim in an interior swathed in period-correct Connolly leather under a standard aluminum hardtop.
I admire how dedicated the team was to pursuing authenticity instead of using modern materials. Lets face it, none of us are going to get to drive these things, but we can at least be thankful for the lovely album of photography they have made of this first completed example. Jason Len was ahead of the curve with his 1964 E-type, building an astonishingly cool lightweight recreation of his own, watch his car through the lens of the Petrolicious team here.