These levels of performance could not be achieved without a class-leading six-speed automatic transmission and the use of aluminium for the Daimler’s high-tech chassis and body panels. This lightweight material shaves over 200kg from the weight of the car compared to the previous generation Daimler, meaning the new model shows superb balance and handling at higher speeds but tremendous refinement and comfort at all times. Like the models that preceded it, the latest version exhibits true Daimler characteristics - hiding latent power and performance behind a calm and dignified exterior.
Now owned by Jaguar Cars, the Daimler Motor Company was formed in 1896 after the German-born British engineer Fredrick Simms had established an earlier agreement to sell Gottlieb Daimler’s engine technology in Britain. With funding from motor financier HJ Lawson, the first British-built Daimlers appeared in 1897 and were hugely popular - 89 were sold in the first year of production to customers amazed by a series of endurance trials, including Henry Sturmey’s run from John O’Groat’s to Land’s End.
Early Daimler owners included John Scott-Montagu, a Member of Parliament and enthusiastic motorist. He was the father of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu who established the National Motor Museum in his memory. When Montagu ran his four-cylinder Daimler in the 1899 Paris-Ostend road race with co-driver Charles Rolls, they became the first British drivers in motoring history to enter one of the famous long-distance races.
It was Montagu who introduced Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), to the Daimler name in 1900. And in so doing he cemented a relationship with the British royal family that would extend for over a century.
The Second World War saw Daimler’s attentions diverted by the war effort – between 1939 and 1945 they built nearly 10,000 4x4 Scout Cars and 50,000 Bristol aero engines. But following the conflict attention returned to construction of the DE36, at the time the world’s largest production car, so designed because its chassis was the only one capable of supporting the enormous coach built bodies ordered by heads of state.
In 1960, Daimler was bought by Jaguar Cars and in nearly half a century since has continued to represent the epitome of luxury British motoring.
The Daimler Markets
Traditionally Daimler has appealed to customers from the United Kingdom and mainland European countries such as Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Belgium and France. However, the burgeoning Far East market is also expected to show considerable interest in the new Daimler.
"In the past we’ve had very great success with previous Daimlers in countries like Switzerland," says Stephen Perrin, Global Marketing Director, Jaguar Cars. "But we also have a large following in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Japan. Just as in Great 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. 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 and craftsmanship tailored to a name that is as distinguished as our customer base itself."Published 27 July 2005