Gallery : AR6 running prototype

The one that got away

Austin AR6

It's 1989 - would you have bought this in preference to a Fiesta or Nova?

THE AR6 running prototype was spotted at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon in 2007 looking a little bedraggled, but still very much in one piece. In the flesh it looks pert and attractive. Interestingly, it doesn’t sport a K-series engine under the bonnet, but a Maestro/Rover 216-spec 1.6-litre S-Series, and much of the interior cames from a Maestro Vanden Plas donor car.

Does that mean the AR6 wasn’t as advanced as we thought, or this is an early development model (the B-plate suggests, it’s from around 1984, somewhat earlier than the scoop shot, which could well have been K-Series powered) – as always if you know the answers, please get in touch…

Wedgy stance would probably not have made production. Note the dramatic angle of the windscreen - in  the 1980s, this would have been very radical indeed.

Wedgy stance would probably not have made production. Note the dramatic angle of the windscreen - in the 1980s, this would have been very radical indeed.

BL Technology was a hotbed of design talent - this car was a motorized version of one of Roy Axe's  styling models, but looks like a viable production prospect in many ways...

BL Technology was a hotbed of design talent - this car was a motorized version of one of Roy Axe's styling models, but looks like a viable production prospect in many ways...

Interestingly for a prototype of this nature that they haven't gone for a carry-over door-handle. It did still  have Metro-style Bendy Keys, though...

Interestingly for a prototype of this nature that they haven't gone for a carry-over door-handle. It did still have Metro-style Bendy Keys, though...

You'll have seen this wheel design before on the ECV3 prototype...

You'll have seen this wheel design before on the ECV3 prototype...

The interior is certainly commodious, and a useful pre-cursor to the move towards larger superminis  during the 1990s.

The interior is certainly commodious, and a useful pre-cursor to the move towards larger superminis during the 1990s.

Maestro dashboard suits rough-and-ready prototype interior.

Maestro dashboard suits rough-and-ready prototype interior.

Let's play spot the parts-bin components on this minimalist door casing...

Let's play spot the parts-bin components on this minimalist door casing...

Prototype sports prototype fuelling system...

Prototype sports prototype fuelling system...

Curved rear screen might have been would probably not have made production in unmodified form...

Curved rear screen might have been would probably not have made production in unmodified form...

Rear end may have needed a little more work...

Rear end may have needed a little more work...

Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and watched it steadily grow into AROnline. Is the Editor of Classic Car Weekly, and has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, Classic Car Weekly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

1 Comment on "Gallery : AR6 running prototype"

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  1. M Pryce says:

    Researching the design of the ECV3 it would be interesting to know if the AR6 prototype used the same technology beyond the wheel design – aluminium frame, plastic panels, Nivomat/trailing arm rear suspension, smooth underfloor etc. Any of these apparent from seeing the AR6 prototype?

    Maestro bits and pieces also interesting – was it a lash-up or a fully engineered vehicle?

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