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New Daimler is a carriage fit for kings

Jaguar's high-end Daimler Super Eight will be soon launched in the East-Asian market.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2005 18:32 IST

Daimler limousines with the unique fluted radiator grille have graced the garages of monarchs and aristocrats around the world for decades. Now Jaguar has revived the brand with a high-end version of the Jaguar XJ - the Daimler Super Eight - and set its sights on the East-Asian market.

The Super Eight is thoroughly British with emphasis on craftsmanship, authenticity and tradition. The familiar grille carries a swirling "D" badge, there's plenty of chrome trim and two body colours unique to this model are offered. Garnet - a kind of metallic Burgundy - and Westminster Blue.

Taking the tried-and-trusted XJ as a basis, the makers have provided the first new Daimler model in seven years with a 400 bhp and supercharged V8 engine. Despite an overall length of 5.22 metres and a weight of 1.8 tonnes, performance is more than adequate.

Inside the driver and passengers take their places on sumptuous leather seats, their feet rest on lambs wool carpets and their eyes gaze across exquisite walnut fittings with Boxwood inlays. With its long-wheelbase the Daimler offers nearly a metre of legroom for rear-seat passengers.

The opulence inside continues with four-zone air-conditioning, a multi-media system with television tuner and fold-down business tables. Acoustic laminated glass ensures a calmer panorama for all who travel in this flagship.

Customers will also be able to take advantage of a truly regal maintenance package that includes an all-round guarantee. This means that for 36 months the cost of workshop inspections and all replacement parts with the exception of tyres are included in the price of 112,500 euros (around $140,000).

The Daimler Super Eight is due to go on sale in Europe in late autumn.

The Daimler name harks back to an agreement made by German inventor Gottlieb Daimler to sell his engine technology to Britain back in 1896. Edward, Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VII of England, acquired his first Daimler in 1900, and Daimler Motor Company went on to become the island's most respected marker of stately motorised conveyances.

Jaguar has owned the brand since 1960.

The car became popular with fellow royals and dignitaries, particularly in mainland European countries such as Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

In the 21st century, however, Daimler is to focus on markets in the East like Thailand, Malaysia and Japan.

"Just as in Britain, many royal families and political dignitaries in the Far East have traditionally used Daimlers and we expect this new model to appeal to them in much the same way as the previous generation did," said Stephen Perrin, global marketing director with Jaguar Cars.

"We don't expect to sell thousands of cars annually - but that is not the point of Daimler. We know there is latent demand out there and will sell them on an individual basis to Daimler enthusiasts looking for renowned British engineering," aid Perrin.

First Published: Sep 21, 2005 20:00 IST