Jaguar to Finish Six Aluminum Lightweight E-Type Coupes
Many believe the acme of automotive design was reached when the Jaguar E-Type (aka XKE) hit dealers in 1961. And, they’re not wrong. Inch-for-inch… Curve-for-curve… Cylinder-for-cylinder, there has yet to be a more beautiful, stirring or soulful car. This is even more true when you look at the very rare aluminum Lightweight E-Type from 1963. Sure, there are some that are, perhaps, as stunning (the new Aston Martin Vanquish jumps to mind), but nothing beats an E-Type.
Back in 1963, Jaguar wanted to create a lighter, faster, more special variant of the XKE. The Special GT E-Type, or Lightweight E-Type was born. The whole principle behind the Lightweight E-Type was increasing performance through the shedding of weight, hence the aluminum body. An aluminum shell was just the beginning. A stripped-out interior, lighter side windows and a complete lack of chrome resulted in an XKE that was 250 pounds lighter than the regular. An aluminum-block straight-six engine further proved that the Lightweight E-Type meant business.
Originally, Jaguar planned on producing 18 Lightweight E-Type coupes, going so far as to assign all 18 chassis numbers. Unfortunately, only 12 aluminum Lightweight E-Types were produced between February 1963 and 1964. That means 6 original Lightweight E-Type chassis numbers are just sitting and waiting for their day in the sun.
And, that day is today. Jaguar is planning to build [read: finish] the remaining six Lightweight E-Types using the exact same specifications and techniques as the originals built in 1963. This is Jaguar’s first official “re-creation” project. I’m too young to have ever seen a Jaguar XKE new. By the time I was born, the XJ-S was already well into production. So, the thought that there will be new Jaguar E-Types coming out of the factory is a spellbinding notion.
Jaguar says the first “new” Jaguar Lightweight E-Type will break cover this summer with more details, like price and availability, coming then. Today, if you wanted to buy an original 12 Lightweight E-Type, (or Jaguar Special GT E-Type), you’d have to fork over somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million. So, it wouldn’t be a stretch to guess that these next six will command a hefty seven-digit price tag. And, you know what? They’re probably worth every penny. For more info, check out the press release below. And, for more info on the current Jags, visit www.jaguarusa.com.
MORE JAGUAR ALUMINUM LIGHTWEIGHT E-TYPE COUPE PHOTOS… WOW!
Lightweight E-Type Press Release
Reborn Lightweight Jaguar E-Type Press Release
THE LIGHTWEIGHT E-TYPE IS REBORN
- Jaguar is to build six brand new ‘Lightweight’ E-types – the ‘missing’ six Lightweights that were never built from the intended 18-car series
- The Jaguar brand’s first ever ‘re-creation’ project, the all-aluminum cars, will be assigned the six remaining chassis numbers which were originally allocated in 1963
- All six vehicles will be built as perfect reproductions and to the exact specifications of the original 12 cars first produced in 1963
- The first new Lightweight E-type will make its public debut later this summer. Further information will be released at that point
(MAHWAH, N.J.) – May 14, 2014 – Jaguar is to build six perfect reproductions of the original, race-bred Lightweight E-type that was created in 1963. The new cars are the ‘missing’ six vehicles from the brand’s Lightweight E-type project, which originally started in February 1963 with the objective of building 18 ‘Special GT E-type Cars.’
Only 12 of the aluminum bodied Lightweight E-type vehicles were eventually built, the last in 1964, the remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant, until now.
The new cars will be hand-built in-house by Jaguar’s finest craftsmen. Each car will be constructed to the exact specifications of their original 1960s forebears – including the 3.8-litre straight-six engine.
The Lightweight carried approximately 114kg (250lb) less weight than a standard E-type, thanks to its all-aluminum body and engine block, a lack of interior trim and exterior chrome work and a host of further weight-saving features including lightweight, hand-operated side windows.
Jaguar expects a high demand for the six Lightweight E-types. Established Jaguar collectors, especially those with historic race car interests, will be prioritised amongst those potential customers who express interest.