AROnline News

News : MG GS undergoes pre-(UK) launch testing

News : MG GS undergoes pre-(UK) launch testing

In June 2016, the new MG GS goes on sale in the UK. To mark the occasion, MG has been sharing images from its development, from the design brief and early sketches through to what it’s gone through to ensure it performs at its best. All new models are put through their paces, and the MG GS is […]

Events : Celebrating Swindon’s wheels of Pressed Steel

Events : Celebrating Swindon’s wheels of Pressed Steel

On Saturday 9 July, a cavalcade of classic and modern cars will parade around Swindon’s unique Magic Roundabout. All these cars will have had their body panels pressed at the MINI Plant in Swindon, formerly known as Pressed Steel… Taking advantage of the roundabout being closed for routine maintenance, the parade will begin at around […]

News : Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato breaks cover

News : Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato breaks cover

Aston Martin and Zagato’s long-lasting relationship continues, with the unveiling of the Vanquish Zagato Concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, held at Lake Como in Italy from 21 – 22 May 2016. The new car carries on the styling themes established with the DB7-based Zagato of the 1990s and the 2012 V12 Vantage Zagato. It’s a […]

By 20 May 2016 1 Comments Read More →
News : Nissan UK makes its 50,000th Leaf

News : Nissan UK makes its 50,000th Leaf

Three years after Nissan introduced electric vehicle and battery manufacturing to Europe, the 50,000th European-built Nissan Leaf has rolled off the production line. The silver, Tekna grade Leaf rolled off the production line last week and is destined for a customer in France. Five years ago, the Leaf was the first mass-market electric vehicle to go […]

By 11 May 2016 2 Comments Read More →
News : MINI launches new Seven edition

News : MINI launches new Seven edition

MINI has launched its latest model, the Seven. Taking its name from the 1959 Austin Seven, the MINI Seven joins the current generation range in five- or three-door form with specially designed exterior and interior looks unseen before on this generation’s model line-up. Unlike its namesake, it’s no stripped-out entry-level model. Sadly… It’s available in Lapisluxury Blue and three […]

News : Jaguar Land Rover posts record April

News : Jaguar Land Rover posts record April

Jaguar Land Rover reported its best ever April retail sales of 41,341 vehicles, up 11 per cent on April 2015. This is the company’s fourth consecutive record-breaking month. The company sold 200,154 vehicles in the first four months of 2016, 24 per cent up on the same period in the prior year. Retail sales for the month […]

AROnline Blogs

Blog : Seeing the F-Pace in the wild for the first time

Blog : Seeing the F-Pace in the wild for the first time

Keith Adams Out on my travels, and it was good to enjoy the first really sunny weekend of the year. The sun was shining, the roads were nice and open and there was plenty of nice metal out there to truly appreciate. Bimbling through Oakham, I spotted this rather nice F-Pace, and realised that it was, in […]

Blog : Making AROnline better for you

Blog : Making AROnline better for you

If you’re not a regular AROnline reader, it might have escaped your notice that I’ve made one or two changes, which I hope will make your viewing/reading experience that bit better. The problem is that with more than 6500 pages to navigate, there’s an awful lot of content to plough through – especially if you’re just dipping in for a quick fix.

Your Cars : Mark Deegan’s Rover 45

Your Cars : Mark Deegan’s Rover 45

Mark Deegan might not be your typical Rover 45 owner, but thanks to an unfortunate incident that befell his Honda Civic, he ended up buying one – and over time, he’s found he rather likes it…

Blog : Is it just me, or should we…

Blog : Is it just me, or should we…

…make our police forces use British cars? I was trundling home along the A1 this evening heading home, when the traffic started to grind to a halt. A sea of brake lights is a not-uncommon sight on our overcrowded roads, and one which we spend too much time moaning about. But for me, the inconvenience […]

Blog : Time heals old wounds

Blog : Time heals old wounds

I had a brief run in an Austin Allegro today. The car in question is owned by Calum Brown, and it has to be said that he was very keen to get my views on his pride and joy. He’s a nice chap – 24-years old, a car nutter, and owner of a very interesting and diverse range of cars. He’ll go far in our industry. Anyway, I digress – he handed me the keys to his 1979 Allegro 3 1.3L, and told me to enjoy myself.

Raise a glass to… 45 years of the Morris Marina

Raise a glass to… 45 years of the Morris Marina

Mike Humble Ah, the dear old Morris Marina, yet another BL clunker that strikes a nostalgic chord in my heart. Yes folks, it’s birthday time again as British Leyland’s answer to the Cortina MkIII hits the ripe old age of 45 this week. Launched on 27 April 1971, the range of two- and four-door saloons hit the […]

AROnline Car Reviews

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 […]

Driven : Toyota GT86 Primo

Driven : Toyota GT86 Primo

The GT86’s a brilliant sports coupe, which costs the same as a mid-range Ford Focus. It has reasonable performance, that makes you work for it, fun handling and interesting looks. In short, it’s the 2010s equivalent of the MGB GT…

Driven : Jaguar XF 3.0 TDV6 S (296bhp)

Driven : Jaguar XF 3.0 TDV6 S (296bhp)

Jaguar’s range is expanding agreeably – and although the F-Pace and XE have both stolen the limelight recently, the 2015 XF is a vitally-important kingpin to the company’s future success. The all-new aluminium platform that underpins the range is fundamental to the XF, and helps explain why it hit the market less than a year after the XE did. Such things would never have been possible in the Jaguar of old.

Unsung Heroes : Austin Maestro 1.3

Unsung Heroes : Austin Maestro 1.3

Anyone who knows Keith Adams might be a little surprised at this choice of Unsung Hero, especially considering the chequered history he has with A-Series Maestros. However, despite the dramas, there’s no doubting that Spen King’s post-Allegro Volkswagen Golf remix was far more worthy than the sum of its parts. The unfulfilled symphony If we […]

Driven : Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury (177bhp)

Driven : Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE Luxury (177bhp)

The Land Rover Discovery Sport‘s arrival in 2014 saw the end of the Freelander name – and, with it, a subtle re-positioning of its entry-level challenger in the SUV market.  As an all-new challenger, the name change has been justified. But is it good enough to take market leadership? We try the Ingenium-engined HSE Luxury on […]

Blog : Design for design’s sake – what’s the point?

Blog : Design for design’s sake – what’s the point?

If anyone out there thinks that car design is stagnating, and we’re living deep in the era of me-too styling, may I present you with the Lexus RX450h. Here’s a car that’s suffused with slashes, folds and creases, and although it’s a high-riding SUV, many of its design themes scream sports car at you. But here’s the thing – before I’d spent my week with this car, I could barely bring myself to look at it, but by the end of my tenure with a car I so wanted to hate, the beast had wormed its way into my affections.

AROnline Cars

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.

Our Cars : Getting to know the Range Rover

Our Cars : Getting to know the Range Rover

Keith’s been using the Range Rover P38 for a few weeks now – for both commuting and as a general hack – and, so far, nothing’s gone wrong. But there are jobs to do… The funniest aspect of owning a Range Rover P38 is listening to and absorbing all the opinions that people have about these fine […]

Our Cars : Project Connie – Living the dream or letting off steam?

Our Cars : Project Connie – Living the dream or letting off steam?

Well, he’s been trundling around in her for almost a month and the V5 has now arrived in a nice brown envelope from Swansea… That’s right, the logbook is now in his name. We find out how things are shaping up for Mike Humble and his living room on wheels…

Blog : Say hello to the new AROnlinemobile

Blog : Say hello to the new AROnlinemobile

Keith Adams Regular readers are no doubt getting a real sense of déjà vu when reading this post. If that’s you, then you’d be right in thinking that, because last year after coming back to run the site, I posted an identically-titled blog, in which I introduced our new and rather nice Land Rover Freelander. Thanks […]

Our Cars : Alex Moulton was right…

Our Cars : Alex Moulton was right…

Alexander Boucke One can, of course, drive a car that has steel springs and hydraulic dampers on all four wheels – the wheels do bob up and down when driving down the road and manage to stick to the black stuff reasonably well. Over the past 40 years there has been a marked evolution of these […]

Concepts & Prototypes

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.

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 […]

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 […]

Concepts and prototypes : Jaguar XJ41/42

Concepts and prototypes : Jaguar XJ41/42

Following the inability of the XJ-S to convincingly replace the Jaguar E-type, there was an internal pressure from the the design and engineering teams to produce a genuine and traditionally styled replacement for the car. It was to be a Jaguar, which would wear the F-type moniker with conviction.

Concepts and prototypes : Heuliez Chrysler 180 Break

Concepts and prototypes : Heuliez Chrysler 180 Break

The idea of building an estate version of the Chrysler 180 was really quite obvious to take for French coachbuilder Heuliez. For those customers loyal to their local Simca dealer, and who wanted to upgrade to a larger estate than their current 1501, there was no option, other than to defect to Peugeot or Citroen.

Facts & Figures

Essay : The decline of BMC – the European dimension

Essay : The decline of BMC – the European dimension

AROnline’s forensically thorough historian, Ian Nicholls, delves into his extensive archive and investigates the fall of BMC during the 1960s via its European sales…

Essay : Counterfactual BMH – what if Leyland had walked away?

Essay : Counterfactual BMH – what if Leyland had walked away?

Simon Weakley, a former Austin Rover marketing man, steps into the realms of counterfactual history by probing a scenario in which Leyland Motors and British Motor Holdings did not merge to become British Leyland in 1968. The future is not ordained or predetermined. People and groups have choices and sometimes a definitive fork in the road is reached, […]

Unsung Heroes : Austin Maestro 1.3

Unsung Heroes : Austin Maestro 1.3

Anyone who knows Keith Adams might be a little surprised at this choice of Unsung Hero, especially considering the chequered history he has with A-Series Maestros. However, despite the dramas, there’s no doubting that Spen King’s post-Allegro Volkswagen Golf remix was far more worthy than the sum of its parts. The unfulfilled symphony If we […]

Features : Faking it – Japan’s BMCs

Features : Faking it – Japan’s BMCs

The Japanese have had a long-standing love affair with British cars, often seeing them as offering the ultimate in style and prestige. In the late-1980s, this sparked off a craze for locally-produced modern interpretations of certain British classics, with the new versions usually being based on popular Japanese hatchbacks. Here we take a look at […]

Unsung Heroes : Citroën BX

Unsung Heroes : Citroën BX

Keith Adams takes a sideways look at one of those bangers, which once littered the streets of the UK. This one was loved and admired as a repmobile for a while, then fell into the hands of minicabbers, and bangerdom surely followed. But we’ve always loved the Citroën BX – perhaps unhealthily so at AROnline […]

Essay : The Ford factor

Essay : The Ford factor

Ian Nicholls One of the influential factors in the BMC>MGR story was the success of its main rival, the American-owned UK division of Ford. Back in 1959 Ford UK was managed by Sir Patrick Hennessey, an Irishman who had been a prisoner of the Germans during the First World War. Ford then only had one […]

By 13 March 2016 32 Comments Read More →

Recent stories worth reading

Advert of the Week : Rover 800 Vitesse

Advert of the Week : Rover 800 Vitesse

Keith Adams Back in the late-1980s, Rover was trying very hard to make its products more aspirational – and, it has to be said that, for a brief period of time, anyway, the company was extremely successful at doing just this. In that spirit, this wonderful TV advert depicting the Rover 800 Vitesse in the […]

Video : Citroen SM, the unlikely rally winner

Video : Citroen SM, the unlikely rally winner

I’ll admit that I have a lifelong obsession with the Citroen SM. Probably unhealthily so, because sometimes I find myself wanting one so much I want to cry. As a young boy growing up in the 1970s, surrounded by the mundanity of Ford Cortinas, Morris Marinas and Vauxhall Vivas, the Citroen SM was a genuine […]

The cars : Lotus Esprit X180

The cars : Lotus Esprit X180

A very British supercar When the Esprit burst onto the scene in October 1975, it had a similar effect on fans of the marque as that fateful storm had on the gardens of countless homeowners in 1987. Designed as the flagship of a triumvirate of cars, which also included the Elite and Éclat and was to shed […]

News : Warranty figures show German cars aren’t reliable

News : Warranty figures show German cars aren’t reliable

Okay, so it’s not exactly news to those close to the trade, but the latest reliability figures from Warrantywise make interesting reading – as well as blowing apart the idea that ‘if it’s German, it’s more reliable’, they also seem to prove that the most dependable cars are Japanese. A Warrantywise survey of 750 drivers finds that […]