AROnline News

News : MoT test exemption to be extended to four years?

News : MoT test exemption to be extended to four years?

New government proposals set to shake up the MoT test could see new cars going four years before having their first examination – up from the current three.

By 22 January 2017 6 Comments Read More →
Events : Report – InterClassics & TopMobiel Maastricht 2017

Events : Report – InterClassics & TopMobiel Maastricht 2017

AROnline’s first show report for 2017 comes from the beautiful town of Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands. Snowy gales, frosty temperatures and copious amounts of salt on the roads made classic car spotting in the parking areas a rather fruitless game, but inside the nicely heated halls of the Maastricht Convention Center a […]

News : Jaguar F-Type gets mid-life refresh

News : Jaguar F-Type gets mid-life refresh

The Jaguar F-Type gets a package of improvements for 2017, with upgrades to its infotainment system, the addition of a new 400 Sport launch-edition model and a world-first ReRun app which combines vehicle data with GoPro video to enhance the driving experience. Styling gets a subtle tweak – the outgoing model’s double ‘shark gill’ apertures have been replaced by large, powerful […]

News : Record year for Jaguar Land Rover

News : Record year for Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover scored its best ever global sales in 2016, with a total of 583,313 vehicles. This is an increase of 20 per cent over 2015, and almost triple the 2009 figure. Sales in December were up 12 per cent compared to the same month last year, with a huge month in China, which was 36 per cent up – its strongest monthly […]

News : Q&A with MG Concept Designer Ian Webster

News : Q&A with MG Concept Designer Ian Webster

Ian Webster has created this interesting-looking homage to sporting MGs past and future. AROnline spent some time talking to the freelance automotive designer and found out what made him want to show SAIC Motor an alternative vision of the future. How old are you and what do you do for a living – an Engineer or […]

News : Leyland Olympian farewell in Preston

News : Leyland Olympian farewell in Preston

The Olympian was the final chassis produced by Leyland Bus, with the very last model leaving the Workington plant in 1993. With the recent change in legislation regarding step-entrance double-decker buses taking effect in this coming New Year, the last ones in daily public service cease operating this weekend within the county they were assembled. […]

By 30 December 2016 21 Comments Read More →

AROnline blogs

Blog : Bent-Eight Marinas

Blog : Bent-Eight Marinas

Ian Elliott In the recent thread about 2.0-litre Itals/Marinas, the subject of V8-engined Marinas was raised. If I have rambled about this in any previous AROnline submission, I apologise, but here goes: stuffing V8s into small, unsuspecting family cars is a long-practiced amusement of the hot-rodding fraternity and the more unlikely the starting point, the […]

Blog : AROnline’s winter tips

Blog : AROnline’s winter tips

Here, at AROnline, we know you lot – our loyal readers – aren’t daft. Far from it, in fact. However, you guys are bound to be the ones asked ‘What do I do?’, when the nation’s driveways resemble an iced bun. So here’s a quick get out of jail free card from Andrew Elphick for […]

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 […]

Blog : 1967 and all that…

Blog : 1967 and all that…

Fab and groovy man! 1967 will forever be remembered for the summer of love, for hippies and love-ins, the Torrey Canyon Disaster, Jimi Hendrix, Sergeant Pepper, pirate radio, Radio 1 and the Six Day War. In Britain both homosexuality and abortion were de-criminalised – although, in the case of homosexuality, decades of criminalisation meant it […]

Blog : Merry Christmas, AROnliners everywhere!

Blog : Merry Christmas, AROnliners everywhere!

Keith Adams Season’s greetings to you all! It might have been one of the weirdest – and, in many cases, unpleasant – years I’ve known for world events, but it’s good to know that AROnline continues to chug along doing its own little thing. And although it’s impossible not to mention 2016 in the same breath as […]

By 24 December 2016 12 Comments Read More →
Blog : Vinyl outstripping CDs shows there’s hope for mags

Blog : Vinyl outstripping CDs shows there’s hope for mags

Keith Adams draws parallels between the burgeoning sales of vinyl records compared with music downloads to a potential growth in car magazine sales.

By 11 December 2016 15 Comments Read More →

AROnline Car Reviews

Tested : Retro Rover vs Retro Jaguar

Tested : Retro Rover vs Retro Jaguar

The NEC Motorshow in 1998 was a vitally important event for Rover and Jaguar. Both companies launched brand new cars – and, in both cases, they were designed the way they were to re-establish traditional marque values. Both cars were styled to evoke memories of 1950s and ’60s products, but the question remains: which did it better […]

By 29 December 2016 46 Comments Read More →
Tested : Alfa Romeo 156 vs MG ZT

Tested : Alfa Romeo 156 vs MG ZT

Sporting pretenders? Introduction They might be unfashionable now, but diesel cars have been on a huge adventure in recent years. The time when cars fuelled by the black pump were slow, noisy and smelly have long since passed – even the most affordable secondhand examples can give you a great deal of pleasure if you buy well. […]

By 27 December 2016 31 Comments Read More →
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 […]

AROnline Cars

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 […]

Our Cars : Project HHR – and she just keeps plodding on

Our Cars : Project HHR – and she just keeps plodding on

Snatched, quite literally, from the jaws of the crusher, Mike’s Project HHR has had some adventures in the past couple of months. Reliability doesn’t make for the most interesting of reads but, in the cold, damp and miserable weather at this time of year, it’s all you could ever wish for in a car. At the Classic Car Show […]

By 22 December 2016 5 Comments Read More →
Our Cars : Getting to know Keith’s MINI

Our Cars : Getting to know Keith’s MINI

Keith’s bought another car. This time, it’s one of the first R50-generation MINIs off the line. There are one or two issues to sort, but that’s what you’d expect with an old Mini. Yes?

By 28 November 2016 9 Comments Read More →
Our Cars : Ian Nicholls’ Jaguar journey

Our Cars : Ian Nicholls’ Jaguar journey

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s resident historian takes time out from his studies of the BMC>MGR archive to tell us about his rather eclectic taste in cars – and his relationship with Browns Lane’s finest…

By 22 November 2016 14 Comments Read More →
Our Cars : Project HHR – it’s showtime!

Our Cars : Project HHR – it’s showtime!

With most of the niggles ironed out and the jobs to do list getting ever shorter, the Rover 414 is proving to be a faithful daily driver. Not only that, but it’s going on show at this year’s Classic Car Show at Birmingham’s NEC – and, in true AROnline style, getting the car ship shape […]

By 9 November 2016 8 Comments Read More →
Blog : Y-reg Minis – gotta catch ’em all!

Blog : Y-reg Minis – gotta catch ’em all!

The R50- and onwards-generation of MINI rather neatly dovetails AROnline in many ways. It appeared in 2001, started out with good intentions, and has grown beyond all recognition from the original idea. Well, something like that. That maybe why I now seem to have two very early MINIs in my possession right now.

Concepts & Prototypes

Concepts and prototypes : MGF Super Sports (EX254)

Concepts and prototypes : MGF Super Sports (EX254)

For the Geneva motor show in 1998, Rover unveiled this interesting proposal based on the MGF. The Super Sports lost its windscreen and gained a whole lot more besides. Starting with its 197bhp Janspeed supercharged K-series engine.

By 24 January 2017 0 Comments Read More →
In-house designs : The BL Safety Research Vehicles

In-house designs : The BL Safety Research Vehicles

Safety first: A close look at the Safety Research Vehicles (SRVs) produced by British Leyland in the 1970s reveals some very prescient ideas.  Of course, there were a few blind alleys, too. Following Ralph Nader’s 1965 report Unsafe At Any Speed, which highlighted the poor handling and/or crash-resistance of numerous cars sold in the US, […]

Concepts and prototypes : Rover 425 V6 LE

Concepts and prototypes : Rover 425 V6 LE

Arguably, the Rover 400 was viewed with disappointment among buyers and certain elements within Rover itself. That said, the Richard Woolley penned saloon version was a huge improvement over the five-door hatchback, and Rover admitted as much, when at the launch of the five-door hatchback, they told us that the ‘Real 400’ would be with […]

By 22 January 2017 9 Comments Read More →
News : Q&A with MG Concept Designer Ian Webster

News : Q&A with MG Concept Designer Ian Webster

Ian Webster has created this interesting-looking homage to sporting MGs past and future. AROnline spent some time talking to the freelance automotive designer and found out what made him want to show SAIC Motor an alternative vision of the future. How old are you and what do you do for a living – an Engineer or […]

In-house designs : Rover R6X

In-house designs : Rover R6X

After Rover pulled the plug on the promising AR6 programme, Design Director Roy Axe decided that a light rebody of the upcoming K-series Metro was required to keep it selling. Few would have predicted it ended up looking as good as it did. Shame they never built it.

Concepts : SD2 redux an Anglo-Italian French lesson

Concepts : SD2 redux an Anglo-Italian French lesson

The Anadol-Reliant FW11 prototype and its similarity with the Triumph SD2 serves to remind us that nothing’s completely new in the car world. Words: Keith Adams Photography: Sporting Reliants/Anadol Fan Club Denied Turkish Delight 1974: Triumph SD2 prototype 1977: Reliant/Anadol FW11 prototype 1979: Bertone Tundra Concept car 1982: Citroën BX It started with a simple statement […]

By 31 December 2016 32 Comments Read More →

Facts & Figures

Technician’s Update : ‘GARLIC BREAD?’

Technician’s Update : ‘GARLIC BREAD?’

The age old argument about modern cars and methods comes in for a sideways look. Mike Humble is your ringmaster. There’s a great great fondness for the Marina these days but, back in 1980, they were beyond a joke. It isn’t that long ago either in the grand scheme of things There I was happily doing some housecleaning and […]

History : Rover 800 video production

History : Rover 800 video production

Our man with the photos, Stuart Collins, pointed his camera in the direction of the production of a dealer video for the Rover 800. He tells the story to accompany the pictures – if you have the video, please get in touch.

By 9 January 2017 2 Comments Read More →
History : Maestro pick-up hack from Cowley

History : Maestro pick-up hack from Cowley

Andrew Davis, a former worker at Cowley, sent us this fascinating image of one of those workaday hacks that never escape the factory. This one, a pick-up conversion of the Maestro, lived a long and absolutely fascinating life.

By 7 January 2017 13 Comments Read More →
History : Rover CPS vehicles (Longbridge)

History : Rover CPS vehicles (Longbridge)

Our man Stuart Collins has been busy scanning the pictures he’s taken over the years while working at Longbridge. These photographs of Rover’s Company Protection Services (CPS) vehicles are absolutely fascinating. These CPS vehicles had been known to turn out to incidents and accident on the public roads around the factory as their response time was […]

Best of British : Land Rover’s Autobiography programme – Part 2

Best of British : Land Rover’s Autobiography programme – Part 2

In his final article looking at Land Rover’s Autobiography personalisation programme, David Morgan finds the Autobiography name being extended to the Range Rover Sport and Evoque, as well as the most exclusive version of the Land Rover Defender to be built. Perfecting the brilliant or gilding the lily? Since its launch at the 1993 London […]

By 3 January 2017 0 Comments Read More →
In production : Longbridge in 1984

In production : Longbridge in 1984

Ever wondered what Longbridge looked like in 1984? Thanks to these great photographs by Stuart Collins, you need not wonder any longer. Enjoy a trip back in time wandering around the Metro’s production line.

Recent stories worth reading

Advert of the Week : When Idle met Mansell

Advert of the Week : When Idle met Mansell

Keith Adams Here’s a nice one. In selling Rover’s wide range of products in the late 1980s, Kevin Morley’s Marketing Department came up with this gem. The idea that Nigel Mansell would negotiate for his wife’s Metro, while overlooking a gorgeous Rover 800 Vitesse, is chucklesome enough, but the intervention of super-salesman Eric Idle is […]

The cars : Sporting Vauxhalls – Part 1

The cars : Sporting Vauxhalls – Part 1

Ken Strachan recounts the rarely told story of the sporting saloons that emerged from Luton. a fine line of VX4/90s entertained generations of drivers. Now it’s your turn.

History : Rover Group and BAe – Part One, the background

History : Rover Group and BAe – Part One, the background

In 1988, the Rover Group finally moved out of government control, being bought by British Aerospace in a controversial £150m deal. At the time, it was hailed as a great outcome for the troubled carmaker, but should it have been? Keith Adams separates fact from the fiction.

By 31 December 2016 6 Comments Read More →
In-house designs : Austin AR6

In-house designs : Austin AR6

We’ve talked about the Austin AR6 a lot in relation with the company’s development in the mid-1980s, and its march towards privatisation. Here is the car’s full story – from the glint in its designer’s eye to the moment it was cancelled. Would this Ford Fiesta rival have been a success, or was Rover right to stick with the Metro?

By 31 December 2016 17 Comments Read More →