The original 3,781cc E Type six-cylinder featured cast-iron block/aluminum head construction, and its seven main bearings and dual overhead camshafts meant for smooth power throughout the RPM range. With a 9:1 compression ratio and triple 2-inch HD8 SU carburetors, the 3.8-liter engine made 265hp at 5,500 RPM and 260-lbs ft of torque at 4,000 RPM. The E Type was mixed exclusively to a four-speed manual Moss gearbox with synchromesh on second through top gears.
The story of the E-Type started long before this legendary eleventh-hour dash, though. It’s clear to see D-Type Le Mans racer’s influence on the E-Type’s lines, and the 3.8-liter straight-six engine was sourced from the XK. However, the lesser-known E1A prototype of 1957 is where the E-Type’s story really begins. The Malcolm Sayer styled E1A was smaller than the final production E-Type and had a 2.4-liter engine, but it showcased the new independent rear suspension design that went on to be a hallmark of Jaguar models for four decades.
By the time the E-Type was unveiled in 1961, it had a 265bhp 3.8-liter engine and four-speed manual ‘box. A claimed top speed of 150mph was a little optimistic for standard production versions, but with a list price of £2097 for the Roadster and £2196 for the Coupe, no-one seemed to care – it was half the price of its more exotic rivals. Autocar achieved an average top speed of 150.4mph and 0-60mph in 6.9sec with a Coupé model, registered ‘9600 HP’ running on Dunlop R5 racing tyres. That car was most likely specially prepared for those tests, but it did the trick; racing drivers and celebrities alike were soon flocking to buy an E-Type.
96.0 in (2,438 mm) (FHC / OTS) 105.0 in (2,667 mm) (2+2)[
175.3125 in (4,453 mm) (FHC / OTS) 184.4375 in (4,685 mm) (2+2)[
65.25 in (1,657 mm) (all)[
48.125 in (1,222 mm) (FHC) 50.125 in (1,273 mm) (2+2) 46.5 in (1,181 mm) (OTS)[
2,900 lb (1,315 kg) (FHC) 2,770 lb (1,256 kg) (OTS) 3,090 lb (1,402 kg) (2+2)[