The cars : Rover SD1 development history


Featuring five-door supercar styling, and some of the nicest engine notes to grace an executive car, the Rover SD1 has a place in the hearts of many car enthusiasts today. However, when it was new, poor build quality, flaky paint, and the poor image of its builder meant that its sales potential went unfulfilled in […]

Buying guide : Rover SD1


Fancy an SD1? Here’s what to look out for… Availability Years produced: 1976-1986 Body style: Five-door ‘executive’ hatchback Engine options: 1994cc O-Series inline-four 2350cc, 2597cc inline-six 3528cc V8 (155bhp carburettor, 190bhp fuel injected) 2393cc inline-four turbodiesel (VM) Transmission options: 4-speed manual, 5-speed manual & 3-speed automatic, rear wheel drive Brief overview The Rover SD1 can […]

Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1, concept 1


Some images from the projects that produced the Rover SD1… Once the decision was made to go with Solihull, instead of Canley design for the new Rover-Triumph car, Bache pressed ahead with his five-door designs. These came down to three basic shapes: First Proposal This version was blessed with a rather formulaic ‘seventies front-end style […]

Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1, concept 2


Some images from the projects that produced the Rover SD1… Second Proposal A sleeker version of the first idea, this time with a tapered nose and lower bonnet line. The top picture shows the initial scale model in clay, whereas below is the full-size version. In its own right, this car could have been developed […]

Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1, concept 3


Some images from the projects that produced the Rover SD1… The winning proposal The winning proposal – the SD1 as we know it today. This version managed to maintain the five-door layout of the others, but with the extra dimension of genuine style. The character clearly comes from the details: sweeping side indicators, side swage […]

Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1 // P10 project


Some images from the projects that produced the Rover SD1… Project P10 This drawing was produced by David Bache in the late 1960s, whilst the aborted Rover P8 was still in development. Right from the outset, Bache knew that he wanted a fastback saloon or hatchback. This rendering shows that the basic proportions were already […]

Blog : Rover Bravo, does anyone know more?

1982 Rover 800 proposal might give us a clue as to what the designers had in store for the Bravo project.

Keith Adams In the dying days of Rover-Triumph as a separate entity within the company, in the lead-up to the association with Honda, BL’s prestige car division looked like it was fighting for its very existence.  In 1979, in the months following Sir Michael Edwardes’ appointment as Chairman and Chief Executive of BL and prior […]

Unsung Heroes : Rover 2300 and 2600

Rover 2300 & 2600 - The latter could give the V8 a good fight.

Mike Humble once again, casts a spotlight onto the many cars that seemed commonplace on the UK roads in this ever popular section. The Rover 3500 SD1 is without a doubt, a legend and even today, still held in high regard, but what about the six pot siblings of the 2300 and 2600? has time been a healer for the lesser […]

Rover Prestige


Borrowing its name from the Citroën CX, the Rover Prestige was Wood & Pickett’s luxury version of the SD1… WITH Minis and Range Rovers already under their belt, Wood & Pickett next added the Rover SD1 to their range of conversions. In the now-familiar W&P tradition, customers would start by choosing their base model (usually […]

Gallery : Standard 2000

The SD1 was sold to the Indian sub-continent’s Standard car company for production as the company’s new entry into the executive car market. Sales were dismal due to the high price of the car, and it lasted only three seasons. The story behind the Rover’s SD1′s short-lived rebirth in India was down to a relaxation […]

Engines : Rover SD1 Six

Although it has received a bit rap in the trade thanks to its well-documented problems, the SD1 Six is a very capable engine. However, it could have been so much more had it been given the start it so richly deserved. On its 30th birthday, Robert Leitch casts an analytical eye over this oft-maligned engine […]

Rover SD1 design inspiration

BMC 1800/Rover SD1: separated at birth? David Bache is today considered to be one of the finest post-war British car designers – and I certainly back that opinion. His SD1 was certainly inspired by the creations of Pininfarina, though – and although the SD1 was a finely balanced, beautiful design, I present some pictures that […]

Rover SD1 timeline

The Rover SD1 saw many detailed changes during its life – and here, we catalogue them for your enjoyment. This timeline, compiled by Chris Bird, has put the car’s production history in the UK into factual order. Year Month Details 1976 June 3500 introduced with 3528cc V8 engine, electronic ignition, 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic […]

Rover SD1 in motor sport

Rover ETCC

Out of the BL quagmire was born the SD1. A crowning glory that overcame production woes to become one of the most famous Rover designs. Success in racing and even rallying helped build the reputation of the formidable Vitesse and it remains a desirable machine to this day. IAN SEABROOK harks back to the glory […]