The new examples complete the ‘Special GT E-type’ project that was started in 1963. Just 12 of the planned 18-car original run were built. The remaining six chassis numbers are set to appear on the newly created examples.
Designed for racing, the Lightweight E-types will be built to the exact specification of the original cars, allowing them to be used in historic racing events.
Power comes from an aluminium-block 3.8-litre straight six engine, which turns out 335bhp and 280lb ft of torque. It drives through a four-speed manual gearbox and is based on the engine that powered the D-type to Le Mans victory in 1957.
Crucial to the E-type’s design is its lightweight aluminium bodyshell, which saves 114kg over the standard E-type. Jaguar engineers have decided to eschew modern construction methods, as used on the aluminium-bodied F-type and XJ, in favour of the original techniques.
Inner and outer surfaces of the car were digitally scanned, with most body panels then being reproduced at Jaguar’s Whitley engineering centre. With the bodywork complete, the cars will be mated to the engine’s subframe before being transferred to the company’s Browns Lane site to be completed.
The Lightweight E-type features twin-wishbone suspension at the front and an independent wide-based wishbone set-up at the rear, tuned to perform best under racing conditions. The E-type’s rack and pinion steering is fitted and the car sits on 15-inch wheels. An aluminium hard-top is also included.