The Eagle Lightweight GT is the ultimate roadgoing evolution of one of the world’s rarest and most beautiful race cars, Jaguar’s Lightweight E-Type. A direct descendent of the legendary C and D-Types, only 12 Lightweights were manufactured by the factory. Noisy, brutal, exhilarating and exhausting, these brilliant race cars were intoxicating on the track and visceral on the road.
Six years earlier, Jaguar had re-equipped and retuned 16 of their legendary D-Type racers to create the XKSS: race car fast, yet with a level of comfort and refinement that allowed owners such as Steve McQueen to drive them every day. These are now amongst the most highly prized of all collectors’ automobiles, but there has been – until now – no Lightweight E-Type equivalent.
Widely regarded as the world’s most capable E-Type specialist, Eagle has spent more than 35 years developing a deep understanding of every nuance of the model, evolving and refining the original design to create ‘ultimate’ E-Types that meet the quality and performance aspirations of the world’s most demanding enthusiasts. Their latest concept transforms an original Series 1 E-Type into the classic supercar the factory never built.
The process begins by replacing every panel with lightweight aluminium. Specialist craftsmen invest more than 2500 hours forming the sensual curves, then fitting them to a tolerance many times more demanding than those specified by Jaguar’s Competition Department. The famous Lightweight profile is faithfully recreated, with subtle enhancements to improve aerodynamics and stiffness and an updated wheelarch profile to accommodate 16” peg-drive magnesium alloy wheels.
The heart of the car is Eagle’s lightweight 4.7-litre evolution of the famous Jaguar XK straight-six that was fitted not just to E-Types, but also to the C and D-Types which, in the 1950s, won an astonishing five outright victories at Le Mans. Bespoke components reduce weight, improve responsiveness and contribute to continent-crossing reliability, while a wide-angle head, as specified for factory Lightweights, accommodates larger valves and a higher lift camshaft for improved breathing.
Peak power of 380bhp arrives at 5750 rpm, but the pleasure of this unit is the vast wave of torque: 375lb ft at 4000 rpm and a wonderfully flat curve that makes the Eagle Lightweight GT feel effortlessly fast, before an urgent, howling dash for the redline.
That attention to detail is continued in the most comprehensive enhancement of an E-Type ever undertaken, accomplished with great sensitivity to the original feel and aesthetic. Extensive use of lightweight materials brings the Eagle Lightweight GT’s weight down to just 1017 kg; not in stripped-out race configuration, but luxuriously specified for comfortable road use.
The result is a classic supercar that fuses the character and charm of the original Jaguar E-Type with the intoxicating thrills of a 1963 factory Lightweight, thoughtfully and comprehensively re-engineered to ensure the new owner enjoys every mile, every day.