Supermini concepts

Concepts : Austin AR6

Concepts : Austin AR6

Paradise lost The Roy Axe studio in Canley had been created to move Austin Rover forwards with a new design direction. Interesting projects were soon underway, with the initial effort being concentrated the XX Programme – however, by the end of 1982, ARG designers were also working hard on the replacement for the Metro, dubbed […]

Concepts : 1991 Rover Metro SP

Concepts : 1991 Rover Metro SP

Rover Special Products wanted to recreate the magic of the early-’80s by producing a spiritual successor to the MG Metro Turbo. The Metro SP was that car, and it made it to full-sized styling prototype. Keith Adams Special K While Rover Special Products had handed out the Montego Lifestyle and Maestro-based Tarka to Steve Harper […]

Concepts : Omni Supermini

Concepts : Omni Supermini

The small hatchback Rover commissioned OMNI design to produce a proposal for the company’s upcoming supermini – these were the results. These sketches show two interesting interpretations on the Rover theme – traditional (think, smaller 75) and contemporary. It would appear the contemporary design made the transition from paper to clay – and thanks to […]

Concepts : Rover R6X

Concepts : Rover R6X

Metro’s missed opportunity Cost constraints killed the interesting AR6 Metro-replacement project, just as it was on the cusp of production. The lower cost alternative was to build a car based on the then current Metro, yet housing the PSA gearbox and K-Series engine. The underlying excellence of the K-Series engine, in particular, meant that there […]

Prototypes : LC8 Metro

Prototypes : LC8 Metro

Metro style emerges LC8 was not an entirely new supermini by any stretch of the imagination, using ADO88 as a starting point. The project was basically a restyle job – with Harold Musgrove cracking the whip over the Austin-Morris development team, ensuring that it was in production by the proposed launch date: the Birmingham Motor […]

Supermini projects : ADO88/LC8 drawings

Supermini projects : ADO88/LC8 drawings

Metro uncovered A fascinating find uncovered recently on the AR forums – engineering drawings of the ADO88 and LC8 projects… The differences between the original car and the pre-launch facelift are clear to see – and the fact that these drawings of the ADO88 were produced at all clearly shows just how close to production […]

Supermini projects : ADO88

Supermini projects : ADO88

The Metro route Shortly after the demise of ADO74, the “Mini replacement idea” was yet again brought down from the shelf for further investigation. Unlike ADO74, which was new from the wheels up, ADO88 would use the Mini’s A-series engine plus transmission-in-sump layout. The reason for this was cost – ADO74 would have cost an […]

Supermini projects : ADO74

Supermini projects : ADO74

The original Metro One project, many faces: a wide variety of styling exercises were produced before ADO74 was cancelled in 1973, as British Leyland could not raise the £130m needed to produce it. The project suffered from having indecisive leadership – it was led by Harry Webster, but because he had worked previously at Triumph, […]

Supermini projects : A new Mini (1968-’74)

Supermini projects : A new Mini (1968-’74)

From barrel to wedge Long before the term supermini had been coined, BLMC had begun to think about producing a new Mini with superior space, comfort and practicality. This gallery contains some initial thoughts and some blind alleys. This car was tentatively developed around the same time as Sir Alec Issigonis was working on his […]

Concepts : BMC 9X

Concepts : BMC 9X

Sheer Genius SOMETIMES, a crisis can truly focus the thoughts of an individual – and in the case of Issigonis, a proven and gifted designer, the Suez crisis had proven this to be the case. From the Leonard Lord edict to design a car to meet the fuel crisis head-on, a true stroke of genius […]

Auto Shanghai 2011 : First images of MG’s Concept 5

Auto Shanghai 2011 : First images of MG’s Concept 5

Words: Keith Adams Photographs: Harry Metcalfe The stars are out at Auto Shanghai today, with a raft of important new car announcements and unveilings taking place at what is likely to become the industry’s most important event in the coming years. The ‘British’ manufacturers are treating Shanghai extremely seriously, with new products and concepts rolling […]

Essays : Spiritual – your industry needs you

Essays : Spiritual – your industry needs you

Keith Adams It’s 1997, and Rover’s strategy for the Mini’s replacement is rapidly taking shape. It’s two years on from the memorable meeting at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon which shaped the future direction of the Mini marque. There had been several models presented to the BMW and Rover board and they were split […]

By February 20, 2011 55 Comments Read More →
MG ZERO Concept : British design stars at Auto China 2010

MG ZERO Concept : British design stars at Auto China 2010

Clive Goldthorp SAIC Motor has, as anticipated, officially unveiled the MG ZERO Concept car at Auto China 2010 in Beijing today. The Birmingham-based MG Global Design Team, led by British MG Design Director Tony Williams-Kenny, developed the MG ZERO Concept and the car now looks set to become one of the stars at what has rapidly become a […]