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AROnline News

News : Four-cylinder F-Type revives the traditional British sports car

News : Four-cylinder F-Type revives the traditional British sports car

The popular Jaguar F-Type has received a shot in the arm with the addition of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium engine under the bonnet. Before you shriek ‘no way’ and insist that a Jaguar sports car should pack a multi-cylinder engine, this one has 296bhp and heralds the arrival of the first four-cylinder petrol Ingenium. The […]

News : Grab a Ledbury, help the Midlands Air Ambulance

News : Grab a Ledbury, help the Midlands Air Ambulance

Site reader and ex-Rover Engine Development Engineer at Longbridge, Ed Rollet, has been in touch with a sad tale. One of his team-mates from the factory, Lance, has recently passed away, but not before he’d bought a Ledbury Maestro with a view to using it to teach his eldest daughter to drive. In the end, it’s too […]

News : Aston Martin starts Phase II works at St Athan

News : Aston Martin starts Phase II works at St Athan

Aston Martin’s new factory in South Wales moves closer towards full-scale car production. The former RAF base is ramping up…

News : JLR breaks sales records in 2016/2017 Financial Year

News : JLR breaks sales records in 2016/2017 Financial Year

Jaguar Land Rover continues its growth trajectory in 2016, posting record global sales figures, confirming its position as the UK’s largest carmaker.

News : Black cabs to hail from Coventry again

News : Black cabs to hail from Coventry again

The new London Taxi Company TX5 black cab will be built in Ansty, near Coventry in a new £300m facility. Here’s what we know.

AROnline blogs

Blog : Diesel scrappage – here we go again…

Blog : Diesel scrappage – here we go again…

Oh dear – it looks like the issue of diesel scrappage is on the agenda again. According to a story by the BBC, drivers could be offered up to £2000 to chop in their old cars. Unlike the earlier scrappage scheme, which was instigated to keep the motor industry turning in the midst of the […]

Blog : What happened to Issigonis’ Mini world? – Part 2

Blog : What happened to Issigonis’ Mini world? – Part 2

Back in September 2012, I penned a blog asking where had all the small cars gone and why were people driving around in diesel-powered behemoths. I concluded that the price of diesel fuel had created a situation where it was perceived that it was just as economical to drive around in a large diesel car […]

Blog : Why the history books are waiting for MG…

Blog : Why the history books are waiting for MG…

AROnline Contributor and former BMC/British Leyland manufacturing apprentice Richard Williams recently returned to Longbridge and that prompted some in-depth reflections on the fate of the famous factory. Here’s his take on that and SAIC Motor’s stewardship of the historic and still much-loved MG marque…

By 9 April 2017 16 Comments Read More →
Blog : What CHPD means to me

Blog : What CHPD means to me

Keith Adams I know what you’re thinking – what the hell does CHPD mean? If you’re not a regular reader of AROnline, then the chances are that you’ve not come across the term, and that’s probably a very good thing. It’s an acronym for Compulsive Heap Purchasing Disorder, and it kinda sums up my car buying life – and […]

Blog : Why JLR could do wonders with Vauxhall…

Blog : Why JLR could do wonders with Vauxhall…

Could Jaguar Land Rover be looking at an expansion of its portfolio via the Griffin Great? Don’t bet too heavily against it.

The AROnline Archive

Archive : 40 years ago – Ryder Report submitted for Government approval

Archive : 40 years ago – Ryder Report submitted for Government approval

On 26 April 1977, the Ryder Report was submitted for government approval. In it, were detailed breakdowns of what funding British Leyland would need, both to survive in the short term, and then deliver in the more distant future.

Archive : 40 years ago – Mini needs money

Archive : 40 years ago – Mini needs money

On 26 April 1977, British Leyland was still finding its way under government control, having been bailed out the previous year. The priority was to get the Mini’s replacement into production. To do that, it needed to deliver the Ryder Report, and hope that Callaghan’s Labour government would foot the bill. Here’s how The Times reported the story.

Archive : 10 years ago – MGs go into production again

Archive : 10 years ago – MGs go into production again

Nanjing Automobile Corporation announced it would start production in March 2007. Except that it never panned out as expected…

Archive : 30 years ago – Ford and ARG’s negotiations go public

Archive : 30 years ago – Ford and ARG’s negotiations go public

During the 1986 negotiations between Ford and Austin Rover, Longbridge’s future model plans were shared with the American company’s executives. Thirty years ago this week, news of this became public knowledge – does it mean that K-series were shared with Uncle Henry? This is how The Guardian reported the story.

Archive : 50 years ago today – Leyland closes on Rover

Archive : 50 years ago today – Leyland closes on Rover

Fifty years ago this week, it the merger between Leyland – owner of Triumph – and Rover was getting ever closer. This could only be a good, thing, yes?

By 25 February 2017 13 Comments Read More →

AROnline Cars

Blog : The Rover reviver becomes Mondeo Man

Blog : The Rover reviver becomes Mondeo Man

Our man in the south waves farewell to Project HHR, the car that’s quite possibly been the cheapest and most dependable of the bangers we have brought you. In a strange twist of fate, Mike hasn’t got a new project, but he is making good use of the ratty Mondeo we recently purchased. Andy Widdows […]

Our Cars : Mike’s 400 blots its copy book

Our Cars : Mike’s 400 blots its copy book

Mike Humble After months of trouble free motoring it had to happen eventually. The old scrotter itself, our Project HHR, has finally given me a serious enough reason to dig deep into the pocket in order to keep the old girl rolling just that little bit longer… It’s always the way, isn’t it? Just as you settle […]

Our Cars : Keith’s MINI Cooper – lighting up the way

Our Cars : Keith’s MINI Cooper – lighting up the way

Keith’s fitted LED headlamp bulbs to his MINI Cooper in an attempt to improve the view forward. They’re working, but are they legal?

By 18 February 2017 9 Comments Read More →
Our Cars : A new lease of life

Our Cars : A new lease of life

Alexander Boucke Car ownership involves certain plights – at least if the word automobile has a certain importance for you. Of course, we all know that servicing car is essential to remain mobile. When a timing belt slips into the equation, this often means a significant expenditure, in particular when a big V6 fills the […]

Blog : The view ahead…

Blog : The view ahead…

Alexander Boucke While I know that about 3 per cent of the New Year have already passed, I will start with a look in the rear view mirror… Listening to a two-hour special on the local radio station playing just David Bowie songs, I am reminded that 2016 had some memorable moments, but certainly not all […]

Concepts & Prototypes

Concepts and prototypes : MG E-Motion

Concepts and prototypes : MG E-Motion

MG Motor unveiled its electric supercar concept at the Shanghai International Automotive Show. Styled in the UK at the SMTC design centre in Longbridge, it’s a fine-looking, albeit generic coupe, with echoes of the recently-launched MG ZS. It sports a controversial round version of the MG octagon, which has marque enthusiasts up in arms.

Prototypes : BMC, BL and Rover’s most tragic missed opportunities

Prototypes : BMC, BL and Rover’s most tragic missed opportunities

Keith Adams chooses 10 of the greatest cars that should have transformed the fortunes of BMC, BL and Rover. Sit back and try not to shed bitter tears.

Archive : 40 years ago – Mini needs money

Archive : 40 years ago – Mini needs money

On 26 April 1977, British Leyland was still finding its way under government control, having been bailed out the previous year. The priority was to get the Mini’s replacement into production. To do that, it needed to deliver the Ryder Report, and hope that Callaghan’s Labour government would foot the bill. Here’s how The Times reported the story.

Carrozzeria designs : Pininfarina 1100

Carrozzeria designs : Pininfarina 1100

What might have been What makes this Pininfarina Aerodynamica (and its 1800 brother) studies so interesting is that it wasn’t commissioned by the British company. It’s that they both caused huge interest at the time they were revealed in 1967 and ’68. The five-door hatchbacks pre-dated the stampede towards two-box designs these designs in the 1970s. […]

Carrozzeria designs : Pininfarina 1800

Carrozzeria designs : Pininfarina 1800

The 1967 Pininfarina Aerodynamica Berlina 1800 concept car was hugely influential. One only needs to look at the Rover SD1 to see just how much…

Facts & Figures

History : The Ryder Report

History : The Ryder Report

The Ryder Report was commissioned by the government in 1976 and took a year to compile. It underlined the £1.5bn plan to return BL to profitability by 1981.

Sales Talk : Pitch perfect? Far from it…

Sales Talk : Pitch perfect? Far from it…

Taking the cars to the customer if they don’t come to you is just one way of creating business. But missed opportunities happen all so often as our Mike Humble witnessed only recently. The sad thing is though its just oh so very simple to get it right. A newly appointed MG dealer proudly displays their wares in […]

History : The complete BMH story – Part One

History : The complete BMH story – Part One

Ian Nicholls charts the complete history of the product of the short-lived merger between BMC and Jaguar, forming British Motor Holdings. It’s a tale of ill-judged hirings and firings, odd and disastrously bad product decisions and a night of the long knives. Read on to learn more about this short but turbulent period of automotive […]

Essay : Tony Benn and British Leyland

Essay : Tony Benn and British Leyland

Ian Nicholls examines the time when Tony Benn’s political career intersected with that of British Leyland. Benn was well-intentioned for his plans for the Government-controlled carmaker, but events conspired against him. Here’s how and why. The troubleshooter The death of Tony Benn only a year after the demise of his political opponent Margaret Thatcher marked […]

Engines : M and T-Series

Engines : M and T-Series

The Rover M- and T-series engines were unsung heroes of the Rover Range. Robert Leitch tells their full story.

Recent stories worth reading

Events : Report – Techno-Classica Essen 2017

Events : Report – Techno-Classica Essen 2017

Europe’s biggest classic car show, the Techno-Classica in Essen has opened its doors – by closing time on Sunday, over 200,000 visitors are expected to have seen the vast display of clubs, car manufacturers and trade stalls. This year’s special exhibition will celebrate the 1957 Grand Prix of Monaco showing a selection of race cars taking part […]

The cars : MINI development history

The cars : MINI development history

The MINI’s development story is a tale of politics, Anglo-German disagreements, and a brilliant end product.

The cars : Rover 75/MG ZT development history

The cars : Rover 75/MG ZT development history

Updated: The story of the Rover 75’s conception, development, and eventual launch in 1998. And how it was scuppered by events – not least the torpedoing it was given by BMW boss, Bernd Pischetsrieder.

Blog : I’ve seen the future… and it can go and do one!

Blog : I’ve seen the future… and it can go and do one!

Keith Adams Average speed cameras on the A9 (Picture: Keith WR Jones) Yesterday, Keith WR Jones and I spent an enjoyable day driving Vauxhall’s new Insignia Grand Sport from Luton to Northern Scotland. Between us, we covered more than 1100 miles, averaged more than 50mpg and consumed rather too much junk food along the way. […]