Austin-Morris looked seriously at a plan to build a saloon version of its upcoming Metro hatchback. But as we exclusively reveal, it was canned rather late in the day due to financial cut backs.
Ever wondered what all those ADO, YDO and LC numbers mean when we’re discussing the history of BMC, BL and Rover cars? Worry not, because our exhaustive list of codenames should help you work out what’s what.
In the late-1970s, BL invested in its future by looking at the next step in engineering design. Under the leadership of Spen King, British Leyland Technology was created, and out of it came some fascinating projects, including the lightweight ECV3 prototype.
The development of a replacement for the Land Rover Defender has presented successive Rover and Jaguar Land Rover managements with an ongoing problem down the years. The familiar-looking Land Rover LCV 2/3 could have done the job very effectively had it borne fruit. Here’s a run-down of what we know about it…
In 1974, Vauxhall designed this superb-looking supermini with an eye on stealing a share of Europe’s fastest-growing sector of the market. Sadly, it wasn’t to be – most probably because it didn’t have the platform to underpin it…
Keith Adams tells the story of the promising Vauxhall Equus – a sports car from Luton which could have shown the Triumph TR7 the way home, had it made it off the ground. Panther Westwinds would have built this Magnum-based ragtop, but would it have sold in the post-hot hatch world of the 1980s? Luton reinvents […]
The biggest criticism normally aimed at the Maxi – other than the early model’s obstructive gearchange – is usually reserved for its plain Jane styling. The Aquila showed how it could have been made into a far more stylish beast. Alas, it was only ever to be a one-off styling exercise.
Robert Leitch tells the story of the amazing ADO30 – a grand tourer that sprung out of a design competition before coming close to replacing the Austin-Healey 3000. The ‘Fireball XL-5’ proved to be a victim of internal politics, tight budgets, and more pressing problems for parent company BMC. But still, it would have been wonderful…
A brief look at how the ground-breaking Mini made it from sketch pad to showroom in little more than two years, a remarkable achievement for a car that completely threw away the rule book. Keith Adams walks through the Mini’s development to production reality in August 1959. From cigarette packet to showroom in 30 months […]
The Triumph Fury was a little more than a motor show crowd pleaser – it was a hint at what Triumph could really achieve with its sports car range during the 1960s. Shame this show concept didn’t make it into production… It was a huge missed opportunity.
MG Motor unveiled its electric supercar concept at the Shanghai International Automotive Show. Styled in the UK at the SMTC design centre in Longbridge, it’s a fine-looking, albeit generic coupe, with echoes of the recently-launched MG ZS. It sports a controversial round version of the MG octagon, which has marque enthusiasts up in arms.
Keith Adams chooses 10 of the greatest cars that should have transformed the fortunes of BMC, BL and Rover. Sit back and try not to shed bitter tears.
On 26 April 1977, British Leyland was still finding its way under government control, having been bailed out the previous year. The priority was to get the Mini’s replacement into production. To do that, it needed to deliver the Ryder Report, and hope that Callaghan’s Labour government would foot the bill. Here’s how The Times reported the story.
What might have been What makes this Pininfarina Aerodynamica (and its 1800 brother) studies so interesting is that it wasn’t commissioned by the British company. It’s that they both caused huge interest at the time they were revealed in 1967 and ’68. The five-door hatchbacks pre-dated the stampede towards two-box designs these designs in the 1970s. […]
The 1967 Pininfarina Aerodynamica Berlina 1800 concept car was hugely influential. One only needs to look at the Rover SD1 to see just how much…
The Ghia Ford Corrida was a small sports coupe concept based on the Ford Fiesta Mk1. It’s most memorable attributes were its gullwing doors and origami styling. Would it have sold, had they made a production version?
The most comprehensive story you’ll ever read about the aborted 9X programme – the ill-fated Mini replacement, engineered by the man who created the original.
For the Geneva motor show in 1998, Rover unveiled this interesting proposal based on the MGF. The Super Sports lost its windscreen and gained a whole lot more besides. Starting with its 197bhp Janspeed supercharged K-series engine.
Safety first: A close look at the Safety Research Vehicles (SRVs) produced by British Leyland in the 1970s reveals some very prescient ideas. There were, of course, a few blind alleys, too. Following Ralph Nader’s 1965 report Unsafe At Any Speed, which highlighted the poor handling and/or crash-resistance of numerous cars sold in the US, the […]
Arguably, the Rover 400 was viewed with disappointment by both buyers and certain elements within Rover itself. That said, the Richard Woolley-penned saloon version was a huge improvement over the five-door hatchback, and Rover admitted as much when, at the launch of the five-door hatchback, they told us that the ‘Real 400’ would be with us within […]
Ian Webster has created this interesting-looking homage to sporting MGs past and future. AROnline spent some time talking to the freelance automotive designer and found out what made him want to show SAIC Motor an alternative vision of the future. How old are you and what do you do for a living – an Engineer or […]
After Rover pulled the plug on the promising AR6 programme, Design Director Roy Axe decided that a light rebody of the upcoming K-series Metro was required to keep it selling. Few would have predicted it ended up looking as good as it did. Shame they never built it.
The Anadol-Reliant FW11 prototype and its similarity with the Triumph SD2 serves to remind us that nothing’s completely new in the car world. Words: Keith Adams Photography: Sporting Reliants/Anadol Fan Club Denied Turkish Delight 1974: Triumph SD2 prototype 1977: Reliant/Anadol FW11 prototype 1979: Bertone Tundra Concept car 1982: Citroën BX It started with a simple statement […]