Eagle - Lightweight GT Price: POA
Last Updated On: 28/06/2020
The Eagle Lightweight GT is the ultimate road-going evolution of one of the world’s rarest and most beautiful race cars, Jaguar’s Lightweight E-Type. It results in a classic supercar with the intoxicating thrills of a 1963 factory Lightweight, thoughtfully and comprehensively re-engineered.
A direct descendent of the legendary C and D-Types, only 12 Lightweights were manufactured by the factory. These are now amongst the most highly prized of all collectors’ automobiles, but there has been – until now – no Lightweight E-Type equivalent.
The building process begins by replacing every panel with lightweight aluminium of a modern grade more suited to road use that than the thin, fragile material of the original Lightweights. Specialist craftsmen invest more than 2,500 hours forming the sensual curves on an English Wheel, 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 aerodynamics including a deeper rear ramp angle, deeper sills (which also increase chassis stiffness and allow the driver to sit lower, improving headroom and lowering the centre of gravity) and increased screen rake front and rear with bespoke glass. Wheel arch size has also been enlarged to accommodate 16” peg-drive magnesium alloy wheels, modelled on the original Dunlop racing wheels but wider, with a little more offset and one inch taller to allow more modern tyres.
The heart of the car is Eagle’s 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. Factory Lightweights were specified with an aluminium block replacing the iron block of road cars, an upgrade Eagle has replicated. A bespoke crankshaft, pistons and con rods improve responsiveness and durability, while a wide-angle head, as specified for factory Lightweights, accommodates larger valves and a higher lift camshaft for improved breathing. Peak power of 380 bhp arrives at 5,750 rpm. The ultra-lightweight gearbox has been uprated to a carefully re-engineered, all synchromesh five speed unit.
Braking is by four piston, servo assisted vented discs, a subtly integrated electrical distribution panel increases safety and reliability and the extreme cabin heat of the original is solved by modern thermal barrier materials and the careful integration of a discreet air conditioning system; designed in-house to eliminate the compromises that would be inevitable with a bought-in design.
Through extensive use of specialist lightweight materials including magnesium, Inconel and titanium, the Eagle Lightweight GT weighs just 1017 kg; not in stripped-out race configuration, but luxuriously specified for comfortable road use. Throughout the car, every component has been evaluated and, where even a marginal improvement can be engineered, has been upgraded to increase performance, comfort, durability and safety. Take seating as an example. The design of the floorpan, pedal mountings and the rear bulkhead have been tweaked to dramatically increase legroom in the E-Type’s notoriously cramped cabin while the seats are redesigned to improve safety, retention and long-term comfort.
Comfortable road use also means resisting the temptation to give the Eagle Lightweight GT an exhaust note that shouts ‘race car’ or a track-focussed suspension calibration that too often makes such vehicles too harsh. Far more challenging is to combine taught, sports car dynamics with the ride quality and refinement of a world-class Grand Tourer. Working together with the seats and tyres, Eagle’s lightweight suspension, carefully specified geometry, spring rates, bushings and bespoke Ohlins adjustable dampers, ensures long distances can be completed in refreshing comfort.