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E-Type
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class i e typeFrom the day of its release in March 1961 at the Geneva Motor Show the E-Type was a sensation. Its UK price was less than 1,500 pounds, a claimed top speed of 150mph and it looked sensational. Its basis was straightforward and an evolution of the D-Type. The center and rear of the structure was made up of welded steel pressings with the rear sub frame underneath and a tubular frame attached at the front to hold the XK engine. Independent suspension all round as were the disc brakes, inboard at the rear, and rack and pinion steering. It was available as a two seater, fixed head Coupe and an open two seater Roadster. The initial engine was the well proven 3.8 litre developing a claimed 265bhp coupled to a strong gearbox and unique back axle. Weight was around 1200kg. This model ran from 1961 to 1964 and became known as the Series 1.

In 1964 the 4.2 litre engine (still with a claimed 265 bhp) was fitted with an all synchromesh gearbox. Modifications were ongoing and the cars became the Series 1.5. In 1966 a 2+2 version of the fixed head Coupe was available on a stretched body; weight was up to 1400kg. An auto gear box was available on this version.  

In 1968 to 1970 the Series 2 was available still with the 4.2 engine. Many changes were made to meet US regulations and to improve the usability of the car including better brakes. In 1971 for the Series 3 the 4.2 engine was replaced by the four carburettor, 5.3 litre V12 engine. Substantial changes were needed to accommodate this engine. Weight was 1500kg, power 276bhp and it claimed a top speed of 150mph. For the US market emission control requirements reduced the power significantly. Production ceased in 1973.

Given the XK 120 was a quantum leap in 1948 the E- Type in 1961 was equally important and world renowned. Today they are much appreciated with a reputation of being the best 20th century sports car.