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We are used to the fact that the high-speed sports coupe, as a rule, costs fabulous money. But it was not always, and sometimes affordable price makes such models the mass and truly extremely popular. A striking example was the legendary Jaguar E-Type. It took the British brand to a new level, and the elegant style and affordability made the car a real symbol of the 60s.
The premiere of serial Jaguar E-Type was held in March 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show. The elegant two-seat coupe and a convertible made a furor. They captivated the audience with graceful body lines and memorable silhouette with a long hood and shifted back cabin. This model will be the main topic of discussion in Jaguar E-Type Review.
For the sake of cost savings the manufacturers refused from aluminum bodywork, but even the steel E-Type was light: a car length of 4.5 m weighed only 1226 kg. Interestingly, the rear brake discs were not housed in the wheels, but were located near the main gear to reduce the unsprung masses. The suspension became independent on all wheels. The engine capacity of 3.8 liters developed 265 hp at 5500 r / min, and it worked in pair with 4-speed manual transmission.
During the public test the novice surprised everyone - it accelerated up to 100 km / h in 7.1 seconds and developed incredible for those times speed of 240 km / h. Thus, E-Type has become one of the fastest road models in the world. But unlike its competitors - expensive and exclusive Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin - it was very affordable. It cost 2097-2200 pounds (5600-5900 dollars), for a total of 33600-35400 dollars at today's exchange rate.
Its interior was decorated leather and wood; as an option it was offered with radio and air conditioning. Interestingly, during the first months the E-Type was exclusively sent for export. The demand for the model abroad (especially in the US) was very large, and the United Kingdom while there was a shortage of currency has introduced tax benefits for export-oriented enterprises. For the first three years they produced over 15 thousand coupes and convertibles, which were considered a good indicator for the Sport model.
Modifications and Trim Levels
In 1964, the family took the first update - E-Type interior trim was slightly altered and it received different seats. But the main innovation was the 4.2-liter engine, which developed the same 265 hp, but had a higher torque - 384 Nm against 352; it was more flexible and suited for everyday driving. In addition, the developers installed a fully synchronized 4-speed “mechanics”. And two years later appeared an elongated four-seat E-Type 2 + 2. It could be ordered with a 3-speed automatic gearbox.
More severe safety requirements forced to undertake another modernization in 1968. The model was called E-Type Series II. The new bumpers and changes in the cabin increased the weight to 1317 kg and that therefore worsened the dynamics. Maximum speed was reduced to 228 km / h. But the popularity of this model was not affected, in the three years they produced almost 19 thousand copies of Series II.
To improve the driving performance, in 1971, E-Type was equipped with a new 5.3-liter 275-horsepower V12, which was the birth of Series III. Its weight was increased to 1500 kg, but the acceleration to 100 km / h took only 6.4 seconds, and top speed was 235 km / h. The design of E-Type was also changed - there were new headlights and a chrome grille.
Gradually the popularity of E-Type started to decline, because there were new and more advanced competitors. In 1975 it was decided to stop the production of the model. It was replaced by the new Jaguar XJ-S with a progressive but not so elegant design.
In just 14 years, they produced 72 515 E-Types, that made the car the first mass sports model from Europe. The car has become a truly iconic and was very quickly appreciated by the upper class society. Among the famous owners of Jaguar were: the actor Brigitte Bardot, Tony Curtis, Steve Mc Queen. The car became a star in more than fifty films - from the famous action movie “Bullitt” to comedies about the adventures of a spy Austin Powers. And in 1996, the car was exhibited at the New York gallery as a work of modern art.
Now, the classic in fashionable and thus appear modern variations such as the Ford Mustang, Volkswagen Beetle, and Mini. Jaguar management decided to create a successor of E-Type. At the Paris Motor Show they presented a conceptual coupe C-X16, and they also promised to show a new model called Jaguar XE.
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