Is the Eagle Lightweight GT the best XKE ever?
Enzo Ferrari famously called the Jaguar E-Type “the most beautiful car ever made.” Now, Britain’s foremost 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.
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 2500 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-liter straight-six has an aluminum block, unique crankshaft, pistons, and connecting 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.”
As befits its name, the Lightweight GT weighs just 2242 pounds by making good use of exotic materials such as magnesium, Inconel, and titanium.
The car 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. An Eagle Lightweight GT will run you close to a cool million dollars.
Then again, 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?