Concepts and prototypes : Rover SD1, concept 3

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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 lines and the dipped belt line. Clearly, this was David Bache at his best. (Note the low loading lip in the top picture – intentional?)


Wind tunnel model


Interior sketches

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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7 Comments

  1. It’s a shame this car wasn’t built with the quality it deserved, and regularly updated. With the proper materials and, dare I say it?, a true sedan variant, this would have been enough to cause people to think twice about a BMW.

  2. Interesting as always to follow the transition in SD1 car design from concept 1 to 3. Often I prefer the earlier stage images but on this occasion I think concept 3’s development deserved to reach production – as it did.

  3. I still miss my Rover SD1’s, I had an 82 2000 model and a last off the line 2600 model, both in Moonraker Blue (Easily one of the SD1’s best colours).

    Only my Citroen C5 comes close in ride quality and comfort (And size!), though I still hold on to my Rover roots with my MG TF.

    A shame the car is gone though, and not so many left on the roads these days.

  4. A truly beautiful car and one of my favourites, but one where form came before function.
    The interior was too cramped for an executive car- especially in the rear seat, and the design of the rear doors meant the window glass could only be lowered half way!
    Three or four more inches in the wheelbase could have made the car a whole lot better.

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