If ever a sports car elicited powerful emotions, the sleek Jaguar E-type (known in the United States as the XK-E) is probably one of the most evocative. The two-seat roadster with foldaway top was the fastest production sports car on the market in 1961. The E-type was conceived as a synthesis of a competition racer and an everyday-use car, priced for a large consumer market. Jaguar's chief engineer, William M. Heynes, described the designers' intentions: "We decided at the commencement of development that this car was not to be a specialized racing car. . . although the general approach to the design in both appearance and performance follows racing trends."
The aerodynamic styling of race cars clearly influenced the body's designa functional yet unabashedly beautiful bulletlike silhouette. The body's subtle, swelling curves and depressions reflect carefully calculated geometries based on the ellipse. The most prominent featurethe long, projecting hoodis modeled with a distinctive "power bulge" that runs down the hood's center to accommodate the powerful engine. Louvered air-intake panels penetrate the otherwise smooth surface. The hood curves down to a grille-less nose that sucks in air to cool the engine. The gently swelling fenders terminate in glass cowl headlights that are seamlessly encapsulated into the body. The view of the of the car's contours is as compelling to the driver as to the passerby.