XJ Range 1968-2009
Series 1 (1968–73)
Daimler versions of the Jaguar XJ6 were launched in October 1969, in a series of television advertisements featuring Sir William Lyons. In these spots, he referred to the car as "the finest Jaguar ever". An unusual feature, inherited from the Mark X and S-Type saloons, was the provision of twin fuel tanks, positioned on each side of the boot, and filled using two separately lockable filler caps: one on the top of each wing above the rear wheel arches. Preliminary reviews of the car were favourable, noting the effective brakes and good ride quality.
In March 1970 it was announced that the Borg-Warner Model 8 automatic transmission, which the XJ6 had featured since 1968, would be replaced on the 4.2-litre-engined XJ6 with a Borg-Warner Model 12 unit The new transmission now had three different forward positions accessed via the selector lever, which effectively enabled performance oriented drivers to hold lower ratios at higher revs to achieve better acceleration "Greatly improved shift quality" was also claimed for the new system. Around this time minor changes were made as well, such as moving the rear reflectors from beside to below the rear lights; on the interior the chrome gauge bezels were changed for black ones, to cut down on distracting reflections.
In 1972 the option of a long-wheelbase version, providing a 4" increase in leg room for passengers in the back, became available.
The XJ12 version was announced in July 1972, featuring simplified grille treatment, and powered by a 5.3 L V12 engine (coupled to a Borg Warner Model 12). The car as presented at that time was the world's only mass-produced 12-cylinder four-door car, and, with a top speed "around 140 mph" as the "fastest full four-seater available in the world today". the XJ12 featured a complex "cross-flow" radiator divided into two separated horizontal sections and supported with coolant feeder tanks at each end: the engine fan was geared to rotate at 1¼ times the speed of the engine rpm, subject to a limiter which cut in at a (fan) speed of 1,700 rpm. The fuel system incorporated a relief valve that returned fuel to the tank when the pressure in the leads to the carburettors exceeded 1.5 psi to reduce the risk of vapour locks occurring at the engine's high operating temperature, while the car's battery, unusually, benefited from its own thermostatically controlled cooling fan the Daimler Double-Six, was introduced in 1972, reviving the Daimler model name of 1926–1938.
Series 2 (1973–79)
Commonly referred to as the "Series II", the XJ line was facelifted in autumn 1973 for the 1974 model year. The 4.2 L I-6 XJ6 (most popular in the United Kingdom) and the 5.3 L V12 XJ12 were continued with an addition of a 3.4 L (3,442 cc or 210.0 cu in) version of the XK engine available from 1975.
The Series II models were known for their poor build quality, which was attributed to Jaguar being part of the British Leyland group along with massive labour union relations problems that plagued most of industrial England in the same time period, and to problems inherent in the design of certain Lucas sourced components.
Initially, the Series II was offered with two wheelbases, but at the 1974 London Motor Show Jaguar announced the withdrawal of the standard wheelbase version: subsequent saloons all featured the extra 4 inches (10 cm) of passenger cabin length hitherto featured only on the long-wheelbase model. By this time the first customer deliveries of the two-door coupe, which retained the shorter standard wheelbase (and which had already been formally launched more than a year earlier) were only months away.
Visually, Series II cars are differentiated from their predecessors by raised front bumpers to meet US crash safety regulations, which necessitated a smaller grille, complemented by a discreet additional inlet directly below the bumper. The interior received a substantial update, including simplified heating and a/c systems to address criticisms of the complex and not very effective Series I system.
In May 1977, it was announced that automatic transmission version of the 12-cylinder cars would be fitted with a General Motors three-speed THM 400 transmission in place of the British-built Borg-Warner units.
The 1978 UK model range included the Daimler Sovereign 4.2, Double-Six 5.3, Daimler Vanden Plas 4.2, Double-Six Vanden Plas 5.3.
In New Zealand, knock-down kits of the Series II were assembled locally by the New Zealand Motor Corporation (NZMC) at their Nelson plant. In the last year of production in New Zealand (1978), a special 'SuperJag' (XJ6-SLE) model was produced which featured half leather, half dralon wide pleat seats, vinyl roof, chrome steel wheels and air conditioning as standard. New Zealand produced models featured speedometers in km/h, and the black vinyl mats sewn onto the carpets in the front footwells featured the British Leyland 'L' logo. Though worldwide production of the Series II ended in 1979, a number were produced in Cape Town, South Africa until 1981.ended in 1979, a number were produced in Cape Town, South Africa until 1981.
XJ Coupé (1975 -1978)
A small number of Daimler versions of the XJ-C were made. One prototype Daimler Vanden Plas version XJ-C was also made, however, this version never went into production.
Series 3 (1979–92)
From April 1979, the XJ was facelifted again, and was known as the "Series III." Using the long-wheelbase version of the car, the XJ6 incorporated a subtle redesign by Pininfarina.
Externally, the most obvious changes over the SII were the thicker and more incorporated rubber bumpers with decorative chrome only on the top edge, flush door handles for increased safety, a one piece front door glass without a separate 1/4 light, a grille with only vertical vanes, reverse lights moved from the boot plinth to the larger rear light clusters and a revised roofline with narrower door frames and increased glass area.
There were three engine variants, including the 5.3 L V12, the 4.2 L straight-six and 3.4 L straight-six. The larger six-cylinder, and V12 models incorporated Bosch fuel injection (made under licence by Lucas) while the smaller six-cylinder was carburetted. The smaller 3.4 L six-cylinder engine was not offered in the US.
The short-wheelbase saloon and coupé had been dropped during the final years of the Series II XJ. The introduction of the Series III model also saw the option of a sunroof and cruise control for the first time on an XJ model.
The 1979 UK model range included the Daimler Sovereign 4.2 & Double-Six 5.3 and Daimler Vanden Plas 4.2 & Double-Six Vanden Plas 5.3.
In late 1981 Daimler Sovereign and Double Six models received a minor interior upgrade for the 1982 model year with features similar to Vanden Plas models.
In late 1982 the interior of all Series III models underwent a minor update for the 1983 model year. A trip computer appeared for the first time and was fitted as standard on V12 models. A new and much sought after alloy wheel featuring numerous distinctive circular holes was also introduced, commonly known as the "pepperpot" wheel.
In late 1983 revision and changes were made across the Series III model range for the 1984 model year, with the Sovereign, Sovereign HE or Daimler Double Six. The Vanden Plas name was also dropped at this time in the UK market, due to Jaguar being sold by BL and the designation being used on top-of-the-range Rover branded cars in the home UK market. Daimler models became the Daimler 4.2 and Double Six and were the most luxurious XJ Series III models, being fully optioned with Vanden Plas spec interiors.
The 1984 UK model range included the Daimler 4.2 & Double Six 5.3.
Production of the Series III XJ6 continued until early 1987 and on till 1992 with the V12 engine.
The intended replacement for the Series XJ was code-named XJ40, and development on the all-new car began in the early 1970s (with small scale models being built as early as 1972.) The project suffered a number of delays due to problems at parent company British Leyland and events such as the 1973 oil crisis. The XJ40 was finally introduced in 1986 at the British International Motor Show.
With the XJ40, Jaguar began to place more emphasis on build quality as well as simplification of the XJ's build process. With 25 per cent fewer body panel pressings required versus the Series XJ, the new process also saved weight, increased the stiffness of the chassis, and reduced cabin noise. The new platform came with significantly different styling, which was more squared-off and angular than the outgoing Series III. Individual round headlamps were replaced with rectangular units on the higher-specification cars, and all models came with only a single, wide-sweeping windshield wiper.
The interior received several modernisations such as the switch to a digital instrument cluster (although this was eventually discontinued for 1990 in favour of analogue instruments.)
The six-cylinder XJ40s are powered by the AJ6 inline-six engine, which replaced the XK6 unit used in earlier XJs. The new unit featured a four-valve, twin overhead cam design.
In 1993, one year before XJ40 production ended, the V12-powered XJ12 and Daimler Double Six models were reintroduced.
The X300, introduced in 1994, was stylistically intended to evoke the image of the more curvaceous Series XJ.
The front of the car was redesigned significantly to return to four individual round headlamps that provided definition to the sculptured hood. Mechanically, it was similar to the XJ40 that it replaced.
Six-cylinder X300s are powered by the AJ16 inline-six engine, which is a further enhancement of the AJ6 engine that uses an electronic distributor less ignition system. The V12 remained available until the end of the X300 production in 1997 (although it ended one year earlier in the United States market due to problems meeting OBDII-related emissions requirements.)
Daimler Corsica Concept
A single two-door XJ convertible was built in 1996 to commemorate Daimler's centenary. The concept car, called the Daimler Corsica, was based on the Daimler Double-Six sedan and can seat four.
The prototype, which lacked an engine, had all the luxury features of an XJ sedan, but a shorter wheelbase. It is painted in a colour called "Seafrost", which was later discontinued. The Daimler Corsica was named after the 1931 Daimler Double-Six Corsica.
The concept was a one-off, and may have been intended for limited production beginning in 1997. The Daimler Corsica prototype is owned by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, who have commissioned it to operate as a fully functional road-legal car.
The car is on display at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warkshire.
Track: 1,473 mm (58.0 in)
Width: 1,770 mm (70 in)
Fuel tank capacity: 2x 45.5 L (12.0 US gal; 10.0 imp gal)
Cooling: Water cooling with engine driven fan
Front suspension: Double wishbones, coil springs, stabilising bar, anti-dive geometry
Brakes: Disc brakes (solid front and rear), power assisted Disc brakes (vented front, solid rear), power assisted
Steering: Rack and pinion, power assisted
Series 1 - RWD 4 speed manual with optional overdrive or Borg-Warner 3 speed automatic
Series 1 - XJ12 RWD Borg-Warner 3 speed automatic
Series 2 - RWD 4 speed manual with optional overdrive or Borg-Warner 3 speed automatic
Series 2 XJ12 - RWD Borg-Warner/GM3 speed automatic
Series 3 - RWD 5 speed manual or Borg-Warner 3 speed automatic
Series 3 XJ12 - RWD GM 3 speed automatic