The cars : Rover 800 development history


The 800 emerged as the result of an ambitious programme to produce new Rover- and Honda-badged executive cars… However, the Japanese and British teams disagreed in so many areas that very little ended up being shared between the two cars in the end, thus re-shaping future projects Honda saves the day THE Rover SD1 was […]

The cars : Rover 800 Coupé

R800 Coupe

Designed for the US market, but introduced after the Sterling pull-out, the 800 Coupé was very much a car without a target audience. And here’s its story. Always the bridesmaid… THE future of Austin Rover looked brighter in 1982 than it did at any time in recent history; the green shoots of recovery were clearly […]

Buying guide : Rover 800

Rover Sterling: great for wafting

Fancy a Rover 800? Here’s what to look out for… Availability Years produced: 1986-1998 Body style: 4 door saloon, 5 door fastback, 2 door coupe Engine options: 1994cc O-Series inline-four 1994cc M-Series inline-four 16V (118, 138bhp) 1994cc T-Series inline-four 16V (136bhp, 180 and 197bhp turbocharged) 2498cc Honda V6 (170bhp) 2675cc Honda V6 (177bhp) 2497cc KV6 […]

The cars : Rover 800 Turbo 16V

Pride of Longbridge 2014 (62)

The XX and R17 versions of the 800 differed significantly over what constituted the performance model in each respective range… …and here’s the anomaly. FEW cars in Rover’s recent history have raised as many questions as the Rover 820 Turbo 16v: Was it developed by Rover Special Products? Why introduce a new engine variant so […]

Blog : Lap of a God


Keith Adams It doesn’t happen often, but for 25 minutes last night, I was rendered speechless. What, you wonder had such an effect? I had the pleasure of watching the in-car footage from Tony Pond’s 100mph lap of the Manx TT track in the Isle of Man. Back in 1988, Rover wanted to ensure that […]

Rover 800 LWB

There have been plenty of stretched Rover 800s sold, but did you know that the factory developed one? The long… and short of it IN 1984, Rover and Jaguar parted company in a government-backed privatisation. It left Rover with a real dilemma – to surrender the director’s car market, or try and go head-to-head with […]

Rover 800 coupe drawings & prototypes

Early sketches by Steve Harper show that Rover was thinking big for its range topper… Heading for the big-time August 1983, and the Coupe takes shape. Steve Harper pegs the wheelbase at 2650mm. Simple coupe lines adopted for the US-focused model… And here’s the open-top version… November 1983, and Stephen Harper is clearly thinking advancement…

Rover 800 Interior drawings & prototypes

Some radical ideas were tried before settling for the pleasingly ambient interior of the Rover 800 Saloon interior sketches Coupe interior sketches January 1984, and thoughts have turned to the Coupe version of the Rover 800. This drawing by Stephen Harper has annotations explaining all the features, in English and Chinese. The unanotated version – […]

Rover 800 Fastback drawings & prototypes


The 800 Fastback was an integral part of the XX design process, as these sketches by Steve Harper and clay models from the Canley Styling Studios clearly show. Development of the five-door might have come later in the programme, but it didn’t stop the final car looking stylish, desirable, and most importantly, fully integrated. Words: […]

Rover 800 Saloon drawings & prototypes

The Rover 800 underwent a very interesting development programme, with much work being undertaken at Canley before the Austin Rover engineers and stylists ever got near Honda in Tokyo. Some of the advanced theme were toned down somewhat for production, but the end result was still very pleasing… In time, the Rover 800 will be […]

Startins/MacNeillie Regency

Startins borrowed a suitably gracious-sounding name from the Daimler marque for their stretched 800… THE Startins Regency was the first Rover-based limousine conversion to be aimed primarily (though not exclusively) at the funeral trade. Some three feet longer than the 827Si on which it was based, it offered seating for seven passengers, with traditional folding […]