As Jaguar tries to figure out its future, a growing number of aftermarket companies are reinventing its past. British restoration shop E-Type UK is the latest company to announce a restomod program for the popular sports car released in 1961. It’s working with later Series 3 models, which is a little unusual, and it leaves no part untouched.
E-Type UK starts every Unleashed project with a donor car; it doesn’t build an E-Type from scratch. After strengthening the basic platform, it bores out the V12’s cylinders to increase its displacement to 6.1 liters, 800 cubic centimeters more than stock. Additional modifications, like an electronic fuel-injection system and a free-flowing exhaust system, boost the engine’s output to 400 horsepower, and a five-speed manual transmission sends the cavalry to the rear wheels. Four-piston front brake calipers ensure the Unleashed stops as well as it goes.
With the engine finished and tuned, E-Type UK turns its attention to the chassis. It fits the E-Type with technology the original model could only dream of, like fully adjustable shock absorbers. Wire wheels are standard equipment, they fit the car’s sleek profile well, but their diameter increases slightly to 16 inches to clear the bigger brakes.
Designers restyled the bumpers, the grille, and the exterior emblems, though the changes are relatively subtle, and they added LED headlights to give the E-Type the visibility of a modern car. Inside, the only limit is the thickness of the buyer’s wallet. Anything is possible; the options include different types of leather upholstery and various trim options. Heated seats, LED lighting, a push-button ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, and a surround-sound system are among the equipment added by E-Type UK to encourage future owners to drive their Unleashed often.
All told, each build requires at least 4,000 hours of labor, which partially explains why pricing starts at £325,000 (around $447,600 at the current conversion rate) before the cost of a donor car enters the equation. For context, that money could buy you two examples of the Lamborghini Huracán Evo and a garage to keep them in, a small plane, or 447 examples of your favorite $1,000 econobox. And yet, we doubt E-Type UK will have a difficult time finding clients. Restomods are a big trend in the industry, some are even Volvo-based, and they’re never cheap.
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