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The JAGUAR XKE (E-TYPE)

E-type
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The most masculine driving machine, the thoroughbred top athlete who combined elegance and undiluted toughness, the Jaguar XKE or the 'E-type' is not only the car that saved the British automotive industry from destruction during the 'sixties'. It also set the standard when it comes to the long lines of sports cars with the engine in the front.

The E-Type hit like a bomb

When he was first shown to the public in 1961 at the Geneva Auto Show, the E-type sensation caused all petrol heads around the world. Suddenly, entire tribes of sports car enthusiasts could buy their ultimate sports car for only $ 5.500. That was only half of what was for a Porsche and at most a third of what had to be taken for a Mercedes Gullwing or a Ferrari.


The civilian version of the D-Type

The XKE was the civilian evolution of the D-type competition cars with which Jaguar achieved impressive victories at Le Mans in the 1950s. It took around four years of design and engineering to turn racing cars into the ultimate sports cars. The E-type had its long curved fender lines and its impossibly long nose with louvres. The lines were of unsurpassed symmetry and dynamics.

Technically developed by Norman Dewis and designed by Sir William Lyons in person (in collaboration with Jaguar's aerodynamic specialist Malcolm Sayer), the E-type was an instant classic and an almost invincible competitor for the sports car builders of the Continent.

The new Jaguar was a highly progressive sports car

He had front and rear disc brakes, independent suspension and a formidable six-in-line engine from 265 hp. This made the E-type 240 km / h fast. Not as fast as a Ferrari, but with a list price of £ 2000, it was almost insanely cheap. People without money for a Porsche or Ferrari could suddenly play along, fight along with the big boys

Both the coupé and the cabriolet versions hit the ground like bombs

The E-types delivered impressive performance, had fantastic brakes and a very agile cornering. This made him, by generating a degree of upset with the gas, unbeatable in chicanes. No Ferrari could compete with that. The convertible also benefited even more from its low center of gravity.

With a V12

In 1971, the E-type was also just as fast on the straights as the Ferraris when it was fitted with the mighty V12 under the hood. The XKE delivered performances that initially only delivered Porsches: from 0-100 in only 6,4 seconds. That V12 was the ultimate development phase in this fantastic concept.

There are few cars in car history that have been able to match the sensational, smoothly aggressively stretched beauty of the E-type. And there were years of calm in Jaguar's designs until the XJS convertible and the recent XJS models put the brand in the spotlight again.

E-type

5 Comments

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  1. As a child (11 years or so), I sometimes gazed at a bright red one in the parking lot of the tennis court in Helpman, Groningen. It was 1965. Tennis and cars were unreachable for us. I still remember the speedometer, which went up to 260 km / h. Sensational!

  2. Question: What is ultimately true of the story that has been going around for so long and that I heard 70 in the early years.

    The story goes that during one of the first test drives the driver / test driver of the prototype of the XKE E-type, intended for the consumer, was stopped by a rural constable in a small English village and received a fine for “ indecent ”exposure with a motor vehicle, because he was driving a vehicle that was sexually offensive. This is because all the all-round truly beautiful curves of this Jaguar reminded the agent too much of the feminine sensual curves. Sincerely, Alfredo.

    • A fantastic story. Quite different from the angry proto Dolle Mina's who protested because the Edsel's grille would resemble a female genitalia

      • Dear Dolf.

        Well, that failed Ford project. The Ford Edsel…. I drove one and when you saw this design approaching from the front, a man who was more interested in eroticism soon got the comparison with a vagina in his mind.

  3. Is idd one of the most appealing sports cars of all time. Without the current car knowledge, I already drooled at a showroom window at the beginning of the years 80 at an e-type. Only I didn't have the money, otherwise I would have bought it immediately?

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