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When. The Jaguar E-Type was conceived while the brand’s founder, Sir William Lyons, was still actively involved in his company. He was an industrialist from another era, adept at seizing the moment and quickly grasping situations. He saw the need for an English alternative to the dominance of Italian, German, and even British rivals like Aston Martin. The E-Type’s selling price was surprisingly lower than its Ferrari or Aston Martin counterparts, despite offering similar performance. Its aesthetic appeal took care of the rest.
The Jaguar E-Type was first presented in 1961 in the FHC - Fixed Head Coupe version. An immediate success.
Who. The Jaguar E-Type, launched in 1961, was designed by Malcolm Sayer, the same creator of the C-Type and D-Type. Designed as a grand tourer coupé and known as the FHC - Fixed Head Coupé, its smooth lines, reminiscent of the D-Type, made it an instant success.
The beautiful shapes designed by Malcolm Sayer combine with excellent performance thanks to the 3800cc 6-cylinder engine and 265hp output.
Where. The E-Type made its debut in 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show. The interest was so intense that test drivers Bob Berry and Norman Dewis were dispatched from Coventry to reach Switzerland in just 11 hours to meet the enormous demand for test drives. Mission accomplished: Jaguar left the Geneva Motor Show with over 500 orders received.
The famous E-Type FHD with 9600 HP license plate that made it to the Geneva Motor Show in 1961 on a overnight trip alongside Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons.
What. Following the experience with the XKSS, a road adaptation of the Le Mans-winning D-Type created using sixteen unused D-Type chassis, Jaguar tapped into the grand tourer sports car market with the E-Type. It retained the D-Type’s iconic style, enhanced with grand tourer comfort and luggage capacity. The E-Type’s design, featuring a monocoque chassis, streamlined production and kept costs in check. Its heart, a 3800cc 6-cylinder engine, produced an impressive 265hp.
A few months after Geneva, a roadster version of the E-Type called OTS - Open Two Seater - was revealed in New York.
Why. Jaguar’s ambition was to leverage its Le Mans triumphs into commercial success. The E-Type did just that, surpassing all expectations. It even drew admiration from Enzo Ferrari, who called it “the most beautiful car in the world”, a clear challenge to his own team to propose models this attractive that could overcome the significant price gap. But it was a great compliment all the same. A few months later, the roadster version was also introduced, making its debut at the New York show and was named OTS - Open Two Seater.
The Roarington eRacing program offers enthusiasts a chance to drive the racing version of the E-Type called Lightweight on the Elio Z simulators by Zagato and Sportiva by Pininfarina. This version, with its aluminium body and a 3800cc 6-cylinder engine delivering 300hp, promises a driving experience that’s both exhilarating and unique.
The racing version of the E-Type introduced in 1963 was named Lightweight because of the aluminum body that lightened the weight compared to the road version.