Ask any enthusiast and they’ll tell you the same thing—if you want to build a good electric vehicle, you have to start from the ground up. You sandwich the battery pack between the axles, keep the center of gravity nice and low to counteract all that weight, and go from there. That’s why cars like the Model S or Bolt are so much better than Californian compliance cars. But we’ll make an exception for electric restomods, stuff like one of Zelectric’s electric air-cooled conversions. Jaguar evidently agrees with our exception; while next year’s I-Pace was designed as an EV from the ground up, you can’t say the same for its latest, the E-type Zero.
The starting point was a Series 1.5 E-type convertible, built in Coventry some time between 1967 and 1968. More recently it returned to the city and to Jaguar, which has a nice sideline these days restoring its old cars and even building continuations of things like the XKSS. Here’s where things get really interesting. Rather than just give it a nuts and bolts restoration before selling it to a deep pocketed Jaguar lover, someone decided to take out the old XK straight six engine along with the rest of the drivetrain and replace it with an electric motor and batteries.
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