EAGLE SPECIAL EDITIONS

The Eagle Lightweight GT

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 resulting in a classic supercar with the intoxicating thrills of a 1963 factory Lightweight, thoughtfully and comprehensively re-engineered.
 I struggle to think of a more enjoyable car to drive or own than this. It’s sublime, a rolling sculpture with stunning road manners and chassis dexterity, that is evocative of its era and stays with you for a very long time afterwards.

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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. 

A direct descendent of the legendary C and D-Types, only 12 Lightweights were manufactured by the factory, introducing their most exotic E-Type for the 1963 season. 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, we have 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. Our latest concept transforms an original Series 1 E-Type into the classic supercar the factory never built.

The Eagle Lightweight GT is the most beautiful car of 2020, and it’s not even close.

Alistair Charlton / FORBES MAGAZINE / JUNE 2020

The 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 that, in the 1950s, won an astonishing five outright victories at Le Mans. Factory Lightweights were specified with an aluminium block replacing the iron block of road cars, an upgrade we have 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, but the pleasure of this unit is the vast wave of torque: 375 lb ft at 4,000 rpm and a wonderfully flat curve that makes the Eagle Lightweight GT feel effortlessly fast, before an urgent, howling dash for the redline.

From hand-forming to 3D Printing

As any driver familiar with the best lightweight sports cars will confirm, shaving a few grams from as many components as possible adds up to a wonderfully agile vehicle. Switching major castings to aluminium is a proven route to useful weight savings: Eagle has gone a significant step further by specifying ultra-lightweight magnesium alloys for the gearbox case, bell housing, differential case, sump and rear hub carriers. The gearbox has been uprated to a carefully re-engineered, all synchromesh five speed unit, taking care to provide a perfect period feel to the change with no compromise in the position of the lever. There is also no compromise allowed in the gearbox ratios, as each one has been designed to ensure a seamless flow of torque that is ideally matched to the weight of the car and the characteristics of the engine.

To drive? Simply magnificent.  GT3 Porsche fast, exquisitely damped, slim enough to slot through the lanes, a feast for ears and eyes alike and agile as only a car of such little mass - less even than an Alpine A110 despite its enormous engine - can be. Yet off the throttle, it is quiet and comfortable too.

Andrew Frankel for DriveNation / June 2020

The switch to lightweight engine and differential castings is particularly important because reducing the weight towards the ends of the car reduces the polar moment of inertia, making it more agile, while a significantly lighter front contributes to fine steering response and feel. 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.

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.

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. The remarkable attention to detail has even increased finger room around the seat adjusters, using the latest 3D printing techniques to create bespoke control levers.

This really is 'dream drive' sort of stuff. The view out over that long bonnet, the vents. This is wonderful.

HENRY CATCHPOLE / CARFECTION / JUNE 2020

That attention to detail is continued throughout the Eagle Lightweight GT in the most comprehensive review and enhancement of an E-Type ever undertaken, accomplished with great sensitivity to the original feel and aesthetic. Most of the revisions, like the gorgeous peg-drive magnesium alloy wheels and aluminium three eared wheel spinner nuts, could be described as ultimate evolutions of the correct period technologies, but there are also carefully selected modern systems that have been discreetly integrated. 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.

The result is a classic supercar that fuses the character and charm of the original Jaguar E-Type, on which the Eagle is based, with the intoxicating thrills of a 1963 factory Lightweight, thoughtfully and comprehensively re-engineered to ensure the new owner enjoys every mile, every day.

Commission Your Own Eagle Lightweight GT

It is now possible to commission your own Eagle Lightweight GT - a bespoke build based on an original Jaguar E-Type from our selection here at Eagle.

The specification process ensures your Eagle Lightweight GT is perfect for you. We maintain the character of the original E-Type without diluting the spirit and add reliability, safety, and performance. Each Eagle Lightweight GT is a truly bespoke build.

Jaguar E-Type Special Editions

By Eagle E-Types

  • Eagle E-Type

    The 'zero mile' restoration of an original Jaguar E-Type, carried out completely in-house here at Eagle.

  • Eagle Speedster

    Our acclaimed homage to the spirit of the Jaguar E-Type - again created from a period original.

  • Eagle Low Drag GT

    Both a hugely capable sports car and long range continental tourer, inspired by the design genius of Malcolm Sayer.

  • Eagle Spyder GT

    The poise and performance of the Low Drag GT combine with the exquisite styling of the Speedster to offer the best of both worlds.

  • Eagle Lightweight GT

     Developed in-house as the ultimate road-going evolution of one of the world's rarest and most beautiful racing cars.