The heart of the 1953 Jaguar Xk120 is the powerful electric motor which generates all of its enormous torque from zero car speed. The motor pulls seamlessly from rest all the way through to top speed with no interruptions for gear changing and is also used to provide high levels of regenerative braking when the car is slowing down.
The car features a battery pack made up from brand new, automotive quality, lithium ion battery cells and built in house by Lunaz. The pack is split into two halves with one half mounted under the bonnet where the engine used to be and the other half mounted under the boot (trunk) floor where the petrol tank used to be. This unusual (and more expensive) approach allows us to fit more batteries than would have been possible with a single pack, so we can use a more powerful motor and at the same time achieve a greater vehicle range.
To handle the new high level of torque we have upgraded all of the transmission system, prop shaft and differential, so that high performance can be combined with modern reliability. Stiffer suspension, upgraded anti roll bars and a limited-slip differential help tame the power and provide a more modern feel to the ride. The addition of an electrically powered rack and pinion steering system with speed-related variable assistance brings a huge improvement in both low-speed usability and high-speed control.
As might be expected we have also upgraded the brakes. Modern aluminium callipers fitted all round reduce weight and increase heat dissipation, whilst electrically powered servo assistance and adjustable brake bias allow us to set the car up properly for the new weight distribution.
The new powertrain is controlled by our own sophisticated electronics which allow us to fine tune the driver controls for optimum feel and response. The electronics also add a layer of safety with features like traction control and rear wheel anti-lock brakes together with convenience features like cruise control.
Inside the cabin original features like the walnut dashboard have been retained and at a casual glance through the window might appear unmodified, but classic style gauges have now been re engineered to present the new information required in an electric car. Where the fuel gauge used to be a battery State of Charge meter now sits and where the rev counter used to be a Lunaz Power Meter shows how much power is being either consumed or regenerated by the electric drive motor. A modern touch screen entertainment system is also positioned behind the walnut bezel and provides the now essential bluetooth telephone integration, navigation and music streaming services.
All of these modern features are wrapped up in the beautiful external styling of the original car. The classic Monza style aluminium filler cap hides a CHAdeMO fast charging socket and the car also has a type 2 AC socket for regular speed charging. Our car features period Dunlop style alloy wheels on genuine knock-off hubs fitted with modern radial tyres and inside the original light clusters LED illumination now shines, but from the outside the car would easily pass for an untouched original all but for the absence of an exhaust pipe.
Beautiful classic styling, modern convenience and truly high levels of performance combined with the green credentials of a fully electric car.