Jaguar reveals new lightweight E-Type

The remaining six come to life

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In May this year, jaguar announced that it would recreate six new lightweight E-type Jaguar cars, each built by Jaguar Heritage. Each of the cars will be built to the exact specification originated from the original lightweight E-types produced back in 1964.

Each one will be hand crafted at Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in Coventry, and set to be sold as period competition vehicles. The six cars are the ‘missing’ vehicles from the ‘Special GT E-type’ project started back in 1963, which was set to build 18 cars, with only 12 finishing production, with the and the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant.

The 12 aluminium-bodied Lightweight E-types were race winners in the hands of a variety of famous drivers and original examples are now valued in the many millions.

Lightweight Construction

In a quest to shed light, the lightweight E-type body shell is constructed out of aluminium instead of steel, shedding some 114kg of weight.

When tasked with the job of recreating the Lightweight E-type’s aluminium body, today’s Jaguar engineers could relate at once to what their predecessors had achieved 50 years before.

However, despite the enormous advances in technology since the early 1960s, the decision was taken not to incorporate modern materials or fixing methods.

While high-strength aluminium alloys and bonded structures would have been invisible, they would not have been true to the original design – and nor would they have conformed to the FIA’s homologation requirements for historic racing.

Final Assembly

The monocoque bodyshell is built at Whitley where it is mated to its tubular engine sub-frame – which is stiffened with gussets as for the original Lightweight – and then shipped to Jaguar’s Gaydon facility for painting. From there it is then taken to Jaguar Heritage at Browns Lane where the car is built up with powertrain, suspension, brakes, steering, electrical items, instrument panel and soft trim.

This process takes place in a dedicated area close to where the original Lightweight E-types were assembled in 1963/64, and the work is undertaken by highly skilled technicians used to assembling extremely complex JLR prototypes.