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Lightweight E-type to debut at Pebble Beach

Finishing the job: Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations will build the remaining six Lightweight E-types using the same materials and methods.

Jaguar to build remaining six Lightweight E-types, completing 50-year-old project


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13 Aug 2014

JAGUAR will build six Lightweight E-type sportscars after reviving an uncompleted 50-year-old project, with the first of the ‘new’ coupes set to debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this weekend.

In 1963, the British car-maker’s competition department developed a faster and lighter version of their famous racer for Le Mans called the Lightweight E-type, which became known as the Special GT E-Type project, but only 12 of the 18 cars were built with the last produced in 1964.

The six remaining designated chassis numbers were shelved and now Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations – the group’s new special vehicles division – has confirmed it will finish the job using the same materials and fixing methods available to the previous generation of car builders.

Jaguar chief engineer of vehicle integrity Mike Cross said this was done to ensure a perfect copy of the original Lightweight E-type is produced.

“With the Lightweight E-type, our focus as a design team has been to ensure justice was done to the original work of Sir William Lyons and Malcolm Sayer,” Mr Cross said.

“Meticulous attention to detail has been everything to us in re-creating this car, just as it is in our contemporary Jaguars. I believe the result is a new Lightweight E-type that is as stunning now as the originals would have been when they were new.”

The first new Lightweight E-type to come out of Special Operations has be named Car Zero and will make its world debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, while six more will be built with an expected asking price of $A1.8 million.

The Lightweight E-type has an aluminum monocoque bodyshell, which was chosen in 1963 to replace the steel body of the regular E-type. The bonnet, doors and boot lid are also made of aluminum.

The engine is a highly developed version of the 3.8-litre straight six found in the XK sportscar and it produces 253kW of power at 6500rpm and 380Nm at 4500rpm.

The iconic coupe features chain-driven twin overhead camshafts, an aluminium head, hemispherical combustion chambers, lightweight flywheel and a dry sump.

The cars were piloted by the likes of Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill in the 1960s.

Today the six remaining Lightweight E-types will be hand-built at Jaguar’s Brown’s Lane Plant in Coventry in the United Kingdom – the original home of the model.

It is the third car to come out of the newly created Special Operations division following the Range Rover Sport SVR which will make its debut in production guise at Pebble Beach this weekend, and the Jaguar F-Type Project 7.

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