Introduced in March 1979, the Series III versions
of the Jaguar/ Daimler range represented a successful
attempt to broaden the appeal of the vehicle with
a number of important modifications which, most notably,
modernized its appearance.
Although the Series III
was a product of evolutionary change, the only body
panels carried over from the Series II were the floor-plan,
boot, and bonnet.
The roofline was raised to improve
head room, while the windscreen pillar position was
altered in a styling exercise that made the for a
more steeply raked windscreen giving the Sovereign
a sleeker look.
Among other changes, the side windows
were deeper, the car was fitted with black wrap-around
bumpers front and rear, there were new rear light
clusters, neatly recessed door handles, but thankfully
the familiar fluted grille remained.
The major change
under the bonnet was the adoption of Lucas-Bosch
fuel injection, which, together with modifications
to the induction system and cylinder head, boosted
power by 18.4 kW to a maximum of 153 kW at 5000 rpm.
Torque remained unchanged at 165.6 Nm at 4500 rpm.
The Sovereign’s maximum speed
was around 205 km/h, and the Daimler would go from
0-100 km/h in 10.5 seconds. The tank capacity is
The three-speed Borg-Warner 65 gearbox
was smooth with well-chosen ratios, although some
commentators of the day criticized the auto’s
tendency to not kick down into first at any speed
over 48 km/h, and the change-up point from first
to second was unnecessarily low, making the car somewhat
sluggish under certain conditions.
Suspension of the
Sovereign underwent considerable refinements; the
front suspension incorporated anti-dive geometry,
there were semi-trailing wishbones, an anti-roll
bar, and coil springs.
At the rear were lower transverse
wishbones with drive shafts acting as upper links,
additional location being provided by radius arms
and springing by twin coil/ damper units. There was
little roll during cornering, and the power-assisted
rack-and-pinion steering was as responsive as ever.
Everything inside, from the Connolly hide
fully adjustable seats
to the Walnut fascia, was of the highest quality. There was no
doubting the Daimler Sovereign was a
cut above most others, even its Jaguar stable mate,
but that’s just as things should