In London today, Jaguar revealed a car that pretty much defines retro-futurism: the E-type Zero. It isn’t merely an old school design, it’s an actual Jaguar E-type roadster from the 1960s, lovingly brought up to date with new LED headlights, an updated instrument cluster with digital readouts, and an entirely bespoke electric powertrain that delivers up to 220kW of power. Jaguar proudly tells everyone within earshot that the E-type was celebrated by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car ever made,” and so it stands to reason that the British marque would retain the look in its entirety while modernizing and electrifying it.
I got to see the bluer-than-turquoise (Opalescent Silver Blue, in Jaguar parlance) car in person during Jaguar’s Tech Fest event today, and I have to agree with the Ferrari founder. This is one lovely car, characterized by smooth and flowing curves punctuated by blockier elements in the detailing at the front, wheels, and back. The interior is delightfully stripped back, and the mid-mounted digital display sits in a starkly spartan space. I like it all. The electric componentry is mostly at the front, but there’s some of it at the back of the car as well, with all of it fitting around and within the car’s existing dimensions and proportions.
Jaguar describes the idea represented by this E-type Zero as “a concept”: the car itself can’t be a concept, because it’s just an electric retrofit on an existing model, but Jaguar is treating it like one. Very simply, if the company finds enough enthusiasm and excitement from consumers to make this sort of vehicle available, it will work to sate that demand.
P.S. — All of the above photos were shot with the LG V30.