The Jaguar E-Type, or the Jaguar XK-E for the North American market, is a British sports car that was manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd between 1961 and 1974. Its combination of aesthetics, high performance, and competitive pricing established the model as an icon of the motoring world. The E-Type’s claimed 150 miles per hour (240 km/h) top speed, sub-7-second 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration, unitary construction, disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and independent front and rear suspension distinguished the car and spurred industry-wide changes.
The E-Type was based on Jaguar’s D-Type racing car, which had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for three consecutive years beginning in 1955.
The E-Type employed what was, for the early 1960s, a novel design principle, with a front subframe carrying the engine, front suspension and front bodywork bolted directly to the body tub. No ladder frame chassis, as was common at the time, was needed and as such the first cars weighed only 1,315 kg (2,899 lb).
It is rumored that, on its debut on 15 March 1961, Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made”, but this statement is not fully confirmed. In 2004, Sports Car International magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s. In March 2008, the Jaguar E-Type ranked first in The Daily Telegraph’s online list of the world’s “100 most beautiful cars” of all time. Outside automotive circles, the E-type has featured in the Diabolik comic series, Austin Powers films and the television series Mad Men.