Is the new £1m Eagle Lightweight GT the best Jaguar E-type yet?

by Nik Berg
22 June 2020 2 min read
Is the new £1m Eagle Lightweight GT the best Jaguar E-type yet?
Photos: Eagle

Enzo Ferrari famously called the Jaguar XKE E-Type “the most beautiful car ever made.” Now one E-Type specialist believes it has improved the recipe.

Eagle describes its new Lightweight GT as “the ultimate road-going evolution of one of the world’s rarest and most beautiful race cars.” Think of it as a Lightweight E-Type equivalent to the legendary XKSS.

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To craft a Lightweight GT Eagle begins with an original Series 1 E-Type. Every body panel is replaced with modern grade aluminum, hand-formed by craftsmen over 2,500 hours on an English Wheel.

It’s a faithful recreation, but respectfully enhanced to improve aerodynamics and body stiffness. The front and rear screens are more steeply raked and fitted with bespoke glass, the sills are a little deeper allowing the occupants to sit lower and the rear ramp angle is deeper. Wider wheel arches allow for 16-inch peg-drive magnesium alloy wheels which echo the original Dunlop racing wheels.

The changes are so subtle and so painstakingly executed that you’d never notice unless you had the Eagle GT and an original side-by-side. And, if you did, you’d probably pick the Eagle on looks alone.

But Eagle’s work goes much deeper than the body. The 4.7-litre straight six has an aluminium block, unique crankshaft, pistons and con rods. It is fitted with a wide-angle cylinder head, bigger valves and a high-lift camshaft. Tuned to produce 385 hp at 5750 rpm and 375 lb ft of torque at 4000 rpm, Eagle claims a flat curve makes the GT feel “effortlessly fast, before an urgent, howling dash for the redline.”

When Henry Catchpole, of Carfection, drove Eagle’s latest creation, he concluded that it held its own against modern supercars with a similar £1m price. You can watch his full review, below.

As befits its name, the Lightweight GT weighs just 1016kg by making good use of exotic materials such as magnesium, Inconel and titanium.

The car’s cabin is fabulously trimmed in leather, and thanks to tweaks to the floorpan, pedal mounts and rear bulkhead, it’s roomier inside than any other Lightweight. Other modern touches include four-piston, servo-assisted disc brakes, all-new electrics and even air conditioning.

As with every Eagle creation, the Lightweight GT will be made to order and to the customer’s exact requirements. Of course, this doesn’t come cheap, and you could buy a standard, restored E-Type for a fraction of the cost.

But an original Lightweight E-Type sold for over $7m at auction in 2017, so that actually sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Wonder what Enzo would say?

Via Hagerty US

Book Review: Jaguar Lightweight E-type, The Autobiography of 49 FXN

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