On this day in 1971, Jaguar unveiled its new V12 engine under the bonnet of the E-type Series 3, with the XJ12 and Daimler Double-Six following in 1972, and the Daily Mirror shared the juicy details.
The new world-beater from Browns Lane
By Clifford Webb
Jaguar, British Leyland’s prestige car sales contender, yesterday unveiled its long awaited new 12-cylinder engine. By so doing, it became the first car manufacturer to introduce such a complex engine for volume production.
By relieving pressure on the existing six cylinder line at its Coventry plant it will be able to divert a substantial number of these older engines for use in its much sought after XJ6 saloon.
British Leyland has spent £3m on laying down new production facilities for the V12 engine. A great emphasis has been laid on automation. Despite its complexity the new engine will require only one third of the labour which goes into the six cylinder.
The installation is geared to produce 1000 power units a week on two shift manning. The initial production target is only 170 a week on single shift working, and for the time being this entire output is going into E-type sports cars destined for the North American market.
The remarkable success of the XJ6, deliveries are still lagging up to 18 months behind orders, has confounded the critics. It is this continuing high level of demand which has clearly led to the decision to use the V12 as an alternative power unit in the E type only, at least at this time.
It is also obvious however that with capacity for 1000 V12s a week it will not be long before a version of the XJ6 also appears with the new engine. In the past two years Jaguar has produced some 8000 E-types annually.
This year it plans to build 4500 of the new V12 E-types backed by an as-yet unknown quantity of six cylinder E-types, unknown that is because until it has tested market reaction to a V12 costing only £250 more than the smaller engine model it does not know if there will be any continuing demand for the older unit.
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