Daimler Sovereign Series III
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
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 91 litres. 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 leather
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 have been.