How the Jaguar E-type Concept Zero was the perfect choice for the Royal wedding - A British classic with a modern twist

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Like its temporary owners, the Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle climbed into after their Windsor Castle reception represented an elegant blend of tradition and modernity.

The Prince and his bride, who that day became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, opted for the electric reincarnation of the 1960s classic E-type to make the short journey to their intimate evening reception with close friends at Frogmore House.

Although its role in the occasion was brief, it produced one of the most striking visual moments from the day.

The model projected a truly traditional sense of British style, while embodying the couple's forward-looking concern over human impact on the planet.

The £350,000 E-type, which was hired for the day, was also embellished with a few personal touches to reflect the  Duke and Duchess's heritage and happy day.

The Jaguar E-type Concept Zero combined classic British style with the future of motoring

A personal moment

The E-type Zero's cameo came at a more relaxed and personal juncture in the day’s proceedings.

Earlier the pair had travelled in traditional fashion, with the Duchess arriving at St George’s Chapel in a 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV and then the couple making their way from the ceremony in a horse-drawn open-top Ascot Landau for a carriage.

The Duke and Duchess changed into different outfits before the 1.5 mile drive to Frogmore House Credit: Steve Parsons

Just before taking the Jaguar, the pair had changed into less formal attire for the Frogmore House reception. The Duke opted for black tie evening wear, compared to the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals he wore at the ceremony.

Ms Markle changed from her wedding dress into a sleek Stella McCartney dress with a halter neck and her hair up in a bun.

The Duke helping his new wife into the car Credit: Steve Parsons

As they made their way to the vehicle, the Duke showed his gallant side by opening the door for his new wife and then waiting for her to gather her long dress into the footwell.

Eco-friendly with personal touches

The car’s zero-emission electric engine was a nod to the happy couple’s keen interest in environmental issues.

The Duchess is known to be eco-conscious and has been seen wearing environmentally sustainable fashion items from British designer Stella McCartney and company Huit Denim.

The Duke and Duchess leaving Windsor Castle in the E-type Credit: Noam Galai

The Duke is also known to have the environment close to his heart. The Prince of Wales revealed in his interview with the Duke for Radio 4 in December, that he was “proud” his son had adopted his concern for ecological issues.

He also revealed that the pair often spoke for “hours and hours and hours” about the environment.

As well as its eco-optics, the car had a few personal touches for the newly weds such as a special number plate with E19 05 18, marking their wedding date.

The car was also a left-hand drive, which was thought to be due to the Duchess’s American heritage.

A True British classic

Jaguar unveiled the E-type Concept Zero last September as part of its drive to ensure its classic models are ready for the future electric future of motoring.

First manufactured in 1961, the E-Type was based on the D-Type racing car which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years running from 1955.

Enzo Ferrari was a firm admirer of the original E-type Credit: Reg Lancaster

The team behind the D-Type's success there then deployed to turn its design into a road-going sports car.

The model was a huge commercial success and became one of the motoring icons of the 1960s.

Enzo Ferrari, the legendary founder of the eponymous sports car brand, is reputed to have lauded the E-type as “the most beautiful car in the world”.

In 2008 the car came top of a poll of Telegraph readers for the most beautiful car of all time.

Nought to 60mph in 5.5 seconds 

The car’s bespoke 220kW engine can reach 60mph in just 5.5 seconds meaning it is faster than the original 1960s models while remaining almost silent.

The 220kW engine makes hardly any noise Credit:  Charlie Magee

The Concept Zero was engineered by Jaguar Classic at Classic Works in Warwickshire as part of Jaguar's efforts to electrify every new model in its range by 2020.

The car manufacturer's efforts come as the government announced in July that it plans to ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2040 to tackle air pollution.

The boot space in the new E-type Credit:  Charlie Magee

Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “Our aim with Concept Zero is to give Classic Jaguars a sustainable future in changing environmental and economic conditions.”

‘Authentic to Jaguar’s DNA’

The car's electric powertrain was designed specifically for the E-Type, with its lithium-ion battery pack the same size and weight as the K six-cylinder engine used in the original models.

This means the cars structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed and handles just like the original E-type.

Jaguar has modernised the dashboard and instruments on the new E-type Credit: Charlie Magee

The only real difference is that the electric model is 80kg lighter than the original.

Jaguar has also added a few other contemporary features to the E-type Zero such as LED headlights and modernised interior instrumentation.

Under the fuel cap is a charging  plug and the car takes around six to seven hours to fully charge. It has a range of 170 miles on a full battery.

The charging plug on the Concept Zero Credit: Charlie Magee

Mr Hannig added: “We have integrated the new electric powertrain into the existing E-type structure, which means a conventional engine could be reinstalled at any point.

“We think this is essential as it ensures a period Jaguar remains authentic to its DNA.”