AROnline News

News : Land Rover Discovery 5 breaks cover in Paris

News : Land Rover Discovery 5 breaks cover in Paris

Keith Adams The Land Rover Discovery 5 has been launched following a rather lengthy teaser campaign. It’s clearly lighter and more efficient than the outgoing model, which has been doing fine service since 2005, but the big news is that its styling is more derivative of Land Rover’s new look, effectively looking like a scaled-up […]

By 28 September 2016 14 Comments Read More →
News : MG Motor UK makes it official…

News : MG Motor UK makes it official…

MG has finally curbed the rumours and announced that it will stop assembling – finishing – cars at its Longbridge plant, despite a year-on-year sales rise of 18 per cent, and within weeks of the launch of its new crossover, the MG GS.  MG’s parent company, SAIC Motor, was shipping-in part-built vehicles for completion at the Longbridge […]

By 23 September 2016 75 Comments Read More →
News : Jaguar announces £100m expansion of UK plant

News : Jaguar announces £100m expansion of UK plant

Jaguar Land Rover has announced that the Jaguar XE is to be built at Castle Bromwich. Its production line will gradually transfer from Solihull as part of a £1bn-plus investment into the company’s West Midlands infrastructure. This investment in new press lines, body shops and final assembly halls supports production of the three Jaguar models built on the company’s technically […]

By 12 September 2016 32 Comments Read More →
News : Delivery mileage MG ZT up for auction

News : Delivery mileage MG ZT up for auction

A 2004 MG ZT 1.8 Turbo, with three miles on the clock, will go under the hammer at Classic Car Auctions’ (CCA) September Sale on 24 September in the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre. A remarkable find, the current and only owner purchased the car in 2005 from a Derby-based dealer, who was selling off the cars at half price […]

By 10 September 2016 32 Comments Read More →
News : Land Rover Discovery 5 previewed before Paris launch

News : Land Rover Discovery 5 previewed before Paris launch

Land Rover has released these two teaser images of the sixth-generation Discovery. The pictures come ahead of its official launch ahead of the Paris Motor Show on 28 September. The all-new model will take its styling lead from the 2014 Land Rover Discovery Vision concept, sharing many of its styling cues with the Discovery Sport.

By 6 September 2016 31 Comments Read More →
News : Rover 2600 SDX offered on eBay UK

News : Rover 2600 SDX offered on eBay UK

Keith Adams A rare, South African-specification, CKD-built Rover 2600 SDX has been offered on eBay. The car, which was built in Leyland South Africa‘s Blackheath plant, is freshly imported and ready to go. It’s a Midas Gold example and was registered in 1980 – it differs from the UK version by being powered by the stretched […]

AROnline blogs

Blog : MG UK – So long, and thanks for all the fish, Part Two

Blog : MG UK – So long, and thanks for all the fish, Part Two

So, now we have the news that MG Motor UK is wrapping up its UK assembly operation in the UK. The reality is that this will surprise no one, and draws to a close the most unsatisfying aspect of the post-MG Rover apocalypse once and for all. For the poor 25 people who have lost their jobs as a consequence, we offer our sincere condolences.

By 25 September 2016 82 Comments Read More →
Blog : Brexit and the UK’s Automotive Industry…

Blog : Brexit and the UK’s Automotive Industry…

Dave Leggett The subject of Brexit – the UK’s decision to leave the EU, following a referendum – is already proving somewhat tortuous for the UK Government. The basic problem is that no-one actually knows what Brexit looks like or even what the UK’s negotiating position with the EU – when it eventually decides to […]

By 9 September 2016 40 Comments Read More →
Blog : Will MG’s slow boat to Europe hit Hinkley Point or the Brexit rock?

Blog : Will MG’s slow boat to Europe hit Hinkley Point or the Brexit rock?

Matthew Cheyne and his colleagues at Longbridge clearly have some challenging decisions to make about MG Motor UK’s mid-to-long-term future during the coming months – decisions which may also be influenced by events which are outside their control both here and in China.

Blog : The year it went pear-shaped

Blog : The year it went pear-shaped

Ian Nicholls One of the joys of being able to trawl through the news archives of our favourite car manufacturer is being able to pinpoint when the course of history irrevocably changed. In the year 2000, we were told by those who were much more intelligent than us British car enthusiasts, that the Rover brand […]

By 21 August 2016 73 Comments Read More →
Blog : MG – more jam tomorrow…

Blog : MG – more jam tomorrow…

Richard Williams, a Director of Caterham, Lotus and Morgan dealers Williams Automobiles Limited, shares his BMC>MGR history and gives his very frank prognosis of the future prospects of MG Motor UK – he also exclusively reveals an aborted plan to put the Rover 800 back into production! The Past My family business has been involved with […]

By 20 August 2016 59 Comments Read More →
Blog : The Austin AR6 and me

Blog : The Austin AR6 and me

Ian Nicholls The BMC/Leyland show at the newly-branded British Motor Museum at Gaydon on 3 July was my first sight of the Austin AR6 prototype, the car that was meant to replace both the Mini and the Metro in around 1988-89. Until I saw the AR6 in the metal, I was in no doubt that the main […]

By 8 August 2016 23 Comments Read More →

AROnline Car Reviews

Driven : Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d Portfolio AWD

Driven : Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d Portfolio AWD

The Jaguar F-Pace seems to be selling well within weeks of going on sale. You see them everywhere, a clear indicator that Jaguar is building cars that buyers want. Question is, as it’s an all-new proposition, is it good enough to tear buyers away from their Audi Q5s and BMW X3s? For our first test, we’ve spent […]

Driven : DS 3 Prestige BlueHDI 120

Driven : DS 3 Prestige BlueHDI 120

Once upon a time, Citroën launched the DS3, and found it had a huge hit on its hands. But then its parent company, PSA, decided the DS name was so good that a new range of cars should be spun around it – and the DS3 became the DS 3. It’s still appealing, but is it worthy […]

Driven : Jaguar XE S 3.0 V6 335bhp

Driven : Jaguar XE S 3.0 V6 335bhp

The Jaguar XE has already established itself as a front-running challenger in the company car market, taking sales from the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class in a way that the old X-Type never had a hope of doing. We’ve already driven the 2.0-litre XE and came away impressed with its all-round excellence. But does […]

Driven : Range Rover Evoque HSE Dynamic Lux

Driven : Range Rover Evoque HSE Dynamic Lux

Five years on from launch, the Range Rover Evoque has been tweaked and fitted with JLR’s impressive Ingenium turbodiesel. Is it still the must-have crossover in the premium sector? We love the Range Rover Evoque at AROnline. It’s the car that brought super-profitability to Jaguar Land Rover, opened new markets for the company and delivered […]

First Drive : MG GS Exclusive

First Drive : MG GS Exclusive

The 6 is dead – long live the GS. MG has announced the slow-selling 6 is to be dropped from the UK model range, but it’s not all bad news. At the launch event in Oxfordshire we got to sample the much-awaited new crossover from MG Motor UK, the MG GS. Here’s what we discovered… Mike Humble Well, it’s finally […]

Driven : Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer SRi 1.6i Turbo

Driven : Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer SRi 1.6i Turbo

The estate car is dead… Long live the Sports Tourer. Vauxhall has recently extended its CoTY 2016 award-winning Astra range with the addition of some all-new load-luggers, but are they worthy of the Sports Tourer name? The Astra is most definitely Vauxhall’s answer to perpetual motion, isn’t it? Rather like post boxes and corner shops, they have been street […]

AROnline Cars

Our Cars : Keith’s Calibra soldiers on

Our Cars : Keith’s Calibra soldiers on

Keith Adams Well, I did go and buy it… I have to say that, so far, the Vauxhall Calibra has been as good as gold for me – as expected. It’s going to be one of our fleet that’s going to cause no trouble at all, just quietly getting on with the job, covering miles […]

By 10 September 2016 8 Comments Read More →
Our Cars : Keith’s Calibra – welcome to a new coupe?

Our Cars : Keith’s Calibra – welcome to a new coupe?

Keith Adams Just a quick addition to the site, and one that I hope will back up my recent assertion in a blog that, in many ways, the affordable motor car reached its peak in the late-1980s/early-1990s. The Vauxhall Calibra might be looked down upon by keen wheelmen, as it’s based very closely on the […]

Our Cars : Mike’s 416 – torque about speaking too soon

Our Cars : Mike’s 416 – torque about speaking too soon

Mike Humble’s Rover 416 seemed to be rolling along quite merrily and without so much as a problem – or rather it was. What initially seemed quite terminal turned out to be a simple fix, but not without some time-served experience and the advice of a retired Workshop Manager… Tsch! Me and my big mouth, eh? Within days […]

Our Cars : Mike’s 416 GSi – Faster… Lighter!

Our Cars : Mike’s 416 GSi – Faster… Lighter!

Sometimes an old banger struggles to make for an interesting read, especially when it just trundles along without so much as a minor hiccup. But some good old traditional fettling has been taking place with our R8 416 – and what a difference a day makes! Mike Humble Well, as the headline states, there’s not […]

Our Cars : Say hello to the Project Rover 416 GSi

Our Cars : Say hello to the Project Rover 416 GSi

The ancient Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 BC), reputedly said “the only thing constant in life is change.”  How very true – and, in the spirit of AROnline bangernomics, Mike Humble and Neil Rapsey have been posting yet more V5 documents to Swansea in a scenario that’s very familiar to readers… I won’t try to dress it […]

Blog : A year with the ‘unreliable’ Citroen C6

Blog : A year with the ‘unreliable’ Citroen C6

I bought it on 19 May 2015, a late birthday present to myself, after selling the Renault Avantime that had been delightful company for the previous six months or so. That was a car I really bonded with, and the only reason I sold it was because I’d decided that I wanted a Citroen C6 more, and that the time was right to get one. I’d driven an example back at its launch in 2006, and ever since then, I knew I was going to have to have one.

Concepts & Prototypes

Gallery : Austin AR6

Gallery : Austin AR6

An amazing number of design themes were created during the AR6 programme – here are some of the less well-known prototypes. Words: Keith Adams Pictures: Roy Axe 1982 teaser prototype 1983 styling proposals Original design developed for production 1985 and the design direction changes

Sports car projects : ADO56

Sports car projects : ADO56

Ahead of its time This wooden model, photographed in March 1959, clearly shows the interesting passenger door cut-out, which extends into the rear wheelarch area, presumably with the aim of facilitating access to the rear seats Known within BMC as the ‘MG Sport’, ADO56 was devised by Alec Issigonis, based on an extended Mini floor […]

Sports car projects : MG EX234

Sports car projects : MG EX234

The MG EX234 project was developed in 1964 as a proposed replacement for the MGB. Under the skin lurked some very interesting engineering solutions… The EX234 project was instigated in early 1964 when the Abingdon engineering team’s thoughts turned to the issue of revising the MGB in order to give it a degree of chassis […]

Sports car projects : ADO68 Project Condor

Sports car projects : ADO68 Project Condor

Back in the late 1960s, when the influence of ex-Ford man, Roy Haynes, started to take hold, some very interesting design projects started to emerge from the Pressed Steel Fisher design studios in Cowley. The ADO68 was one such platform-sharing product.  Devised at the Pressed Steel Fisher styling studios in Cowley by Roy Haynes, this […]

Concepts : Rover P8/P9

Concepts : Rover P8/P9

The full story of Rover’s stillborn range topper, killed days before it was given the go-ahead for production. A victim of politics, poor crash testing, and internal rivalries.

Concepts and prototypes : BMC 1800/2200

Concepts and prototypes : BMC 1800/2200

The origins of ADO17 can be traced back to XC9000, the first in a series of designs produced by Alec Issigonis in 1956, following his return to BMC from Alvis. The rear-wheel-drive XC9000 prototype was developed into the front-wheel-drive XC9001, before the project was shelved in response to the Suez Crisis. The XC9001 design was […]

Facts & Figures

Film appearances : Clockwise

Film appearances : Clockwise

It may have been one of Britain’s best-selling cars of the 1960s and ’70s, but John Cleese’s characters of Basil Fawlty and Brian Stimpson in Clockwise were far from fans of the BMC 1100/1300 range. ANDREW ROBERTS looks at Cleese’s 1986 attempted murder of a Morris. FOR a vehicle which has a fair claim to being […]

By 24 September 2016 14 Comments Read More →
Essay : The British Leyland Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee – Part Two

Essay : The British Leyland Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee – Part Two

Ian Nicholls, AROnline‘s own resident historian, delivers a fantastic insight into BL’s industrial relations, and how they changed over the years… The Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee had some huge battles from 1975 under Derek ‘Red Robbo’ Robinson – here’s how it all unfolded. Derek Robinson rose through the union ranks to the point where, in 1975, he followed […]

By 15 September 2016 12 Comments Read More →
Concepts : Towns Microdot

Concepts : Towns Microdot

William Towns had high hopes for the Microdot, but they would eventually come to nothing… The Microdot made its debut at the London Motor Show in 1976, where it couldn’t help but attract attention due to its typically neat, glassy styling – and its bright lime-green paintwork. However, its green credentials were more than skin-deep, […]

By 14 September 2016 1 Comments Read More →
Essay : The British Leyland Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee – Part One

Essay : The British Leyland Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee – Part One

Ian Nicholls, AROnline‘s own resident historian, delivers a fantastic insight into BL’s industrial relations, and how they changed over the years… Say hello to the Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee, and how it developed between 1960 and 1975.   The British Leyland Combined Shop Stewards’ Committee was a thorn in the side of British Leyland management for […]

By 13 September 2016 12 Comments Read More →
Essay : The decline of BMC – the  European dimension – Part Two

Essay : The decline of BMC – the European dimension – Part Two

Ian Nicholls follows up on one of 2016’s most popular essays, adding some fascinating overseas price data to his piece on the failure of BMC in mainland Europe.

By 3 September 2016 34 Comments Read More →
Blog : The year it went pear-shaped

Blog : The year it went pear-shaped

Ian Nicholls One of the joys of being able to trawl through the news archives of our favourite car manufacturer is being able to pinpoint when the course of history irrevocably changed. In the year 2000, we were told by those who were much more intelligent than us British car enthusiasts, that the Rover brand […]

By 21 August 2016 73 Comments Read More →

Recent stories worth reading

Around the World : Bulgaria

Around the World : Bulgaria

Updated: There was an operation to build Maestros in Bulgaria, and we have the full and exclusive story of how it came together. Thanks to ex-Rover Group and BAe executives, we have been able to piece together the story of the Roadacar assembly operation in Bulgaria and conclude why it failed in the way it did.

By 11 September 2016 14 Comments Read More →
The cars : Midas

The cars : Midas

What the 1980s needed was a new Mini-Marcos, and Harold Dermott was determined to make that happen. The car he produced, the Midas, was a sensation, and Andrew Elphick tells its story. Plastic fantastic! SOMEHOW every last success or failure in the British motor industry seems to be linked with British Leyland – and it’s […]

Advert of the Week: The new Morris Ital

Advert of the Week: The new Morris Ital

When the Morris Ital roared onto our screens at its June 1980 launch, BL put out this terrific advert to celebrate the fact. OK, so we now know that it was little more than a warmed-over Marina, powered by the upcoming Metro’s A-Plus engine, and styled by Harris Mann, but with the Ital Design connection in its production engineering was so exciting from a marketing sense, that the marketing department leaped on it with relish…

By 3 September 2016 21 Comments Read More →
Around the World : Malta

Around the World : Malta

Malta – that beautiful enclave in the Mediterranean is a favourite for tourists all over Europe. However, unbeknown to many, it was also host to an assembly operation which was home to the construction of Triumphs and Morrises among others. Christopher Camilleri takes up the story, with additional images from Andreas Lampka… Carmaking was late coming to Malta […]

By 3 September 2016 24 Comments Read More →