Motoring / Cars and Bikes

The Car That Stole the Limelight at the Royal Wedding

No wonky old british cars, the luxury automobile maker put its best foot forward with a Jaguar E-Type Zero – a classic 1968 roadster retrofitted with an electric motor.

May 22, 2018 | By Shirley Wang

While retro British cars are notorious for leaky gas problems, Jaguar has put its best foot forward for the royal wedding. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drove off with regal in the Jaguar E-Type Zero — a 1968 roadster retrofitted by the luxury manufacturer with an electric motor last year.

The stylish silver-blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, a modern take on the classic 1968 convertible, is complete with a bespoke licence plate bearing the date of the wedding — E190518.

An environmentally-friendly move, the original combustion engine on the 1.5 E-Type convertible has been exchanged for something a 200kW electric drivetrain that boosts much better speed and barely a noise. With a 0-60 mph rating of 5.5 seconds, this Jaguar Concept Zero outperforms its predecessors. Though these numbers barely matter for the graceful drive at the royal wedding.

“Concept Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification,” said Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic.

The modifications were made at a the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works facility in Warwickshire, England, specially dedicated to modification projects. Vintage models from both brands receive “outstanding Reborn restorations,” at the location, including exclusive productions of the E-Type.

Interestingly, the royal car was a left-hand drive model, a feature which some attributed to Markle’s American heritage. After more than half a century of its release, the revival of this classic model is indeed an apt choice for the grand royal wedding.

The royal couple graced down the roads in the coupe after the lunch reception, ceded by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car ever made.”

With the current zero emission status, Jaguar is looking to spread this love to more of its classic models beyond the Jaguar E-Type Zero for the royal wedding.

“In an increasingly environment-conscious age, we aim to make sure our classic vehicles have the future they deserve,” Jaguar said in a release. “We’re doing that by developing electric powertrain conversions that preserve the looks, handling and performance characteristics of the original vehicles — yet deliver zero emissions.”

Tim Hanning, director of the classic works facility, calls it “future-proofing” classic car ownership. To assuage the purists, Jaguar has added that these modifications are “completely reversible”, and can be applied to any XK engine powered classic Jaguar built between 1948 and 1992.


 
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