Monday, 21 February 2011

"Growler E 2011" by Vizualtech Celebrates 50 Years of the Ultimate Pussy... Cat.

The Jaguar E-Type (or XK-E if you're American) first debuted in 1961, which was 50 years ago. Its descendant, the XK, is all very lovely - especially with a new 5.0-litre V8 in either NA (XK8) or supercharged (XKR) form - but the E-Type still remains the daddy, regarded by some as the sexiest and most beautiful car of all time. First available with a 3.8 (later a 4.2) litre straight-6 before sprouting a V12 in 1971, it lasted 14 years and is still highly sought after today. Some argue that it should have been a James Bond car, and it often contests the DB5 (of Goldfinger fame) for the title of the Coolest Car Of The 1960s in magazines and blogs. Of course, with modern safety regulations and so on, it would be nigh-on impossible to produce the same car now (although there are some organisations that restore an old one to a modern spec), so Bo Zolland of Vizualtech Design teamed up with Swiss designer Robert Palm and did the next best thing: they imagined a modern-age equivalent, dubbed the "Growler E 2011".

Mmm, British Racing Green.......
Most of the original styling traits have remained, although it has grown a potentially controversial second pair of headlights, possibly a throwback to Jaguar's outgoing styling direction. Chrome bumpers, long sloping bonnet, that pointy tail end, wire wheels with tyre-cutter centre caps and bullet-like mirrors all evoke that classical 1960s style, but they're mixed in with modern touches like low-profile tyres (the wheels are actually a little big for my taste and make the car look smaller), modern lights, blacked-out A-Pillars for that increasingly popular jet-fighter look, as well as the front chin spoiler from a 2006 Jag XK and side heat outlets that remind me of something... I just can't remember what. Perhaps the air intake on the XJ220? I'm not sure the window line is quite right, but that's just being picky. It has all the original's basic and "sensual" lines, but the body drops lower for aerodynamic reasons, which also gives the car a squat stance.

Power for this particular fast feline comes from the same 5.0 Supercharged V8 as the current XKR, but with ECU remapping to get 600bhp. Were it to exist in reality, it would in fact get most of its guts from the XKR 5.0, but weighing a whopping 200kg less thanks to a carbon fibre chassis and lightweight composite body. Sounds like a blast.

Whilst I wouldn't call it prettier than the original (precious few things are), it is yet another great retro-modern sports car from the designers of a 600bhp Volvo P1800 , a 600bhp S13 Super GT racer and this awesome 600bhp Mustang-powered SAAB 96. Hmm. I think there's a lucky number running through all these cars...

Source: Jalopnik

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