How To Turn A Classic Jaguar Into A Modern Weapon

Tuning / Comments

320 horsepower ain't half bad for a 35-year-old luxury sedan.

Arden has earned its reputation as one of the foremost tuners of Jaguars. But it's not just new Jags that it's tinkering with these days.

The German firm has flipped deep into its back catalog to unearth a classic and apply the same treatment, 35 years later, to another. It's the Series III Jaguar XJ12 of the type that Coventry produced from 1979 through 1992. Of the nearly 133,000 third-gen XJ sedans that Jaguar made over the course of those 23 years, Arden customized 234. And now it's added one more, at an evidently discerning customer's request.

This time the modifications were applied to a Daimler Double Six – the even more luxurious version of the XJ12 that wore the name licensed from Mercedes-Benz's parent company.

Nameplates aside, the modifications are the same. The Arden AJ 4 program starts under the hood, where the intake manifold and exhaust have been replaced and the engine-control unit reprogrammed. So instead of 285 horsepower (or 295 in later models) and 294 (or 319) lb-ft of torque, the old 5.3-liter V12 now kicks out 320 hp and 323 lb-ft – which isn't half bad for a 35-year-old car.

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Along with the engine upgrade, Arden has also modified the suspension with adjustable Koni shocks and fitted 18-inch alloys. And a revised aero kit gives it that extra custom look.

Have a Series-III XJ (or Daimler) of your own? We're sure that Arden Automobilau GmbH will gladly upgrade yours to the same standard. And we won't be the least bit surprised to see it perform similar modifications on additional classic Jags in the near future.

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