Jaguar plans to build six new examples of the limited-run “lightweight” 1963 E-Type. The company began a project in February 1963 to build 18 lighter versions of its iconic E-Type sports car, but only ever built 12. Now the company will use original materials and specifications rebuild the final six cars.
The Jaguar Lightweight E-Type project managed to trim about 250 pounds from a contemporary E-Type, primarily by using all-aluminum construction for the bodywork. Jaguar also used aluminum for the engine block, removed interior trim, and deleted exterior chrome. The 3.8-liter inline-six engine was tuned to produce 293 hp, up from 265 hp in the standard 1963 Jaguar E-Type. According to The Jaguar File by Eric Dymock, the Lightweight also had a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission, and the suspension was significantly stiffened.
To recreate the six remaining cars, Jaguar says it will task its “finest craftsmen” with meticulously following the specifications of the original 1963 Lightweight models. The company plans to sell all six new models, with priority going to “established Jaguar collectors” who already have collections of historic Jaguar race cars.
Interestingly, the idea of using aluminum to cut weight is still prevalent today and has continued to influence the design of modern Jaguars. Today’s Jaguar F-Type coupe and the F-Type convertible both use all-aluminum construction with aluminum-alloy engines, helping cut pounds for the new sports cars.