1985 Jaguar XJ 4.2 Sovereign Saloon
|Engine||In-line six-cylinder, 4235cc|
The final flowering of Jaguar's classic XJ series was unveiled in March 1979 and the new Series III was a major improvement in every way. From Pininfarina's graceful take on the styling to the engineering changes wrought under the beautiful skin, the Series III XJ had been intended merely as a stopgap until the new XJ40 was ready but proved an enduring success, remaining in production well into the 1980s and the XJ12 variant survived even longer. The Series III XJ6 brought with it not only more modern styling, with greater glass area, but huge improvements in build quality along with innovations like a five-speed gearbox (another Jaguar first) although most were fitted with Borg Warner automatic transmissions. More power was extracted from the venerable XK engine (in either 3.4 or 4.2 guises) thanks to bigger valves and fuel injection. In October 1982 Jaguar announced a new luxury variant, the Sovereign, as part of a revised model range. Although external changes were confined to new perforated alloy wheels and new badges, inside the cabin all XJs received a new centre console, better front seats and the Sovereign also received air conditioning as standard equipment, along with electric door mirrors, electric front seats, rear headrests, a trip computer and fully carpeted boot area. Leather upholstery was also standard although cloth could be ordered as a no-cost option. The Series III XJ6 is a classic Jaguar saloon that can be enjoyed every day, with no shortage of spares or specialists able to work on them, and can be immensely rewarding cars to own.