Daimler Car Engines – XJ12 engine, Sovereign, XJ40

Published by Carl Wilson on

Daimler Car logo

Daimler and his lifelong partner Wilhelm Maybach were two workaholic inventors whose dream was to create small, high speed engines to be mounted in any kind of locomotion device. They patented in 1885 a precursor of the modern petrol engine which they subsequently fitted to a two-wheeler, considered the first motorcycle.

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Daimler Car Engines, Britains oldest Marqué are available at enginesandgearboxes.co.uk as new, used, reconditioned or secondhand.

Gottlieb Daimler and Maybach moved to work at the world’s largest manufacturer of stationary engines of the time. In 1876, Otto invented the Four-stroke cycle also known as the Otto Cycle a system characterized by four piston strokes (intake, compression, power, and exhaust).

In 1924, “Daimler Motor Company” merged with Benz to form the Daimler-Benz car company which built Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks.

In 1960 the Daimler name was sold to Jaguar and in 1971 Jaguar announced its second post-war engine design, the new V12. The new engine broke much new ground for Jaguar and was fitted to the new Series 3 E-Type, later in 1972 it was also fitted to the new “super-saloons”, the XJ12 / Daimler Double Six.

The Daimler Sovereign coupe was the 6 cylinder / 4.2 litre model, and the Daimler Double Six coupe was the 12 cylinder / 5.3 litre model. What is interesting about the Daimler XJC ‘s is that nowhere on the vehicle is there a badge or sign that says XJC ! The Jaguar XJC ‘s were badged XJ12C / XJ5.2C or XJ6C / XJ4.2C.

The name Daimler Double Six Series 1, (an old fashioned way of writing V12!) harked back to Daimlers heydays in the 1930’s when its last V12 limousine model was also called the Double Six. The XJ12 and Double Six shared their new engine with the new V12 E-type and developed some 253bhp, unfortunately fuel consumption figures were alarmingly low even by Jaguar/Daimler standards.

The Daimler Double Six Series II sported a new, lower profile front grille complete with a larger, rectangular air intake beneath the front bumper. The engine now produced 285bhp and 1975 saw the introduction of a much improved GM gearbox.

The Daimler Sovereign Series III came with only the 4.2 litre XK engine with either manual or automatic gearbox options, the smaller 3.4 litre option was no longer offered. The 4.2 engine had slightly more power than the previous car thanks to fuel injection.

The Daimler coupes are the most prized by serious collectors as they were only produced in such small numbers.

The Jaguar V12 displaced 5343cc and featured overhead camshafts. In E-Type form the V12 produced 272bhp which was enough to propel the car way past the 150mph mark. Following the demise of the E-Type in 1975 the V12 engine lived on in the fuel injected XJS and continued in the XJ12 models right up until the XJ40 V12 in the late 80’s.

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Carl Wilson

You won't believe it, I'm native Scotsman. Enthusiast. Car lovers. Almost finished rebuilding my Reliant Saber 🔥


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