Rover 75/MG ZT (R40)
The Rover 75 (R40) was developed under BMW’s watch. It did without tight budgetary constraints that the company had become used to while under the ownership of BAe. These engineering values endowed the 75 with almost previously unheard of quality.
However, BMW’s Chairman, Bernd Pischetsrieder, decided to torpedo the car – and the company that produced it. This was at its launch at the NEC in 1998, because of political pressure BMW was under. Sales of the 75 were slow from launch, but the car’s excellence was recognised by all who drove it. Its fans loved its comfort and tasteful design. The 75 proved a victim of the BMW sell-off, although the resultant development of the MG ZT variant was a high point. Lived on in China as the Roewe 750.
Here’s its story
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.
The Rover 75 V8 Limousine was the car they weren’t going to build… When the long-wheelbase version of the 75 was unveiled in 2002, the company made it clear that developing a V8-powered rear-wheel-drive version would be costly, and the limited demand wouldn’t justify the investment. Yet, they built one… Ministerial Rover This is the car they […]
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 […]
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. […]
The most powerful version of the rear-wheel-drive MG ZT spent a long time in development – and, in the end, it didn’t make it into production, as time ran out for it. Wearing the coveted chassis number one, the ZT XPower 385 is another of those fascinating might-have-beens that never saw the light of day. […]
Updated: The story of the Rover 75-based Roewe 750. It had rather a lot of British input into it. That’s because it was developed by a number of ex-MG Rover engineers in the UK. But it was also based on an ill-fated plan to facelift the Rover 75 in 2006. Shame we never had a chance to buy it in Britain…
Following BMW’s disposal of the Rover Group in 2000, production of the then-new 75 needed moving from Cowley to Longbridge. Here’s the amazing story of how it happened, as recounted by Ian Elliott back in 2000, and produced for the then fledgling MG Rover PR Department. It makes fascinating reading to this day, and shows just how seemingly insurmountable logistical mountains can be climbed.
Craig Cheetham A few months back, our Ebay Find of the Week was a 2000 W-reg Rover 75. Ever since then, I’ve had a nagging desire to go out and rescue a 75 which had sunk to such low levels of residual value and give it a second chance, not least because, according to the DVLA […]
Not a lot of pictures of the R40’s development programme have surfaced; mainly because Richard Woolley’s 1993 design was considered so successful, it didn’t change between the time the clay model was finalised and the launch of the car five years later. However, the interior was subject to a lot of soul searching, and two […]
It’s always good to revisit old friends – either to remind you of great times gone by, or to maintain and renew an important relationship. So, when Mike Humble offered me a chance to drive his Rover 75, it felt like I was about to take a trip down memory lane and, in a way, […]
Craig Cheetham Introducing the first in a new series, AROnline’s Editor takes a sideways look at some of the cars we love to love and asks if they were, indeed, all they were cracked up to be… From the outset, I want to make it clear this new feature isn’t an attempt at MG-Rover/BL-bashing. I’ve […]
Mike Humble Another year… another show, and this time it was the BMC and BL Rally at Nene Park in Peterborough. This particular event is one is one I have never attended until now, and I`m glad that I did because the sun shone almost as brightly as the cars on display. This year, AROnline […]
The 2010 Rover 3500 Anyone thinking that the Design Team at Longbridge lacked an understanding of Rover’s rich history should be reassured – and saddened – by these images. Reassured because this imposing looking saloon oozed Rover from its every pore and, had it made production in a form resembling these images, it would have advanced […]
What would Rover produced during the 1990s without Honda or BMW to influence the situation? Inspired by Roy Axe’s AR18 prototype photos, AROnline‘s very own engineering genius Robert Leitch cooks up an enticing recipe for Rover’s 1990s’ growth… Words: Robert Leitch Doing it Rover’s way… THE APPEARANCE of those previously unseen Rover 700 pictures made […]
It is well known that Rover and China Brilliance were in talks regarding the co-development of a next-generation of executive cars, but as things had gone quiet, and with BMW stepping into the fray, the deal was called off. However, according to Erik van Ingen Schenau, a rather interesting ‘Rover 75’ appeared in China in […]
Steven Ward Exactly a decade ago this week, I had the opportunity to live out a childhood dream; that is to buy a brand new car at an International motor show. Naturally, the car came from our dear old MG-Rover Group and the show was Birmingham’s Motor Fair. The location was of course in the […]
Warren Loveridge, New Zealand What’s with the Rover 75? It has plagued my dreams for years. Those sweeping lines, that unparalleled interior, the element of tragedy about what must surely be one of the best saloons the British have ever built. I’ve gazed at them admiringly ever since they first appeared. I sat in them […]
The long and the short of how the 75 was stretched… MacNeillie Regency In 1999, the 800-based Regency gave way to a new version based on the Rover 75, again available in 6-door form and aimed primarily at the funeral trade, although it could also be ordered with full armour-plating and bomb-resistance for the protection […]
Images of the Richard Woolley styled Rover 75… designed to look contemporary and retro at the same time, the new car was designed with an eye to looking more solid and prestigious than the 600 and 800 it replaced. Launched at the same time as the Jaguar S-Type, the Rover 75 was greeted with almost […]