Full-size styling buck of the P8 circa mid-1967, as styled by David Bache shows that he wanted to achieve an imposing look for the new car, which had been dubbed internally, the ‘Mercedes-Benz Eater’. Interestingly, this model sported 4000 badges on the base of the C-Post, indicating that a mild stretch of the V8 was in order to give the new car the performance required of it.
Profile view of the above car gives the impression of a pleasingly balanced design…
1970 and the final version of the P8 takes shape… The front now looks a lot tougher.
…although the rear remains reasonably untouched, still badged, as it is, a 4000 V8.
P8 interior mocked-up and ready for production: some very nice features incorporated in this classic Rover interior design. The basic architecture is typical post-1960s Rover with its flat dash and boxy instrument pack mounted atop – an arrangement that closely resembles that of the SD1. Note also the use of soft-feel plastics and integrated switch gear – something that would become common later on in car design – again Bache’s team was ahead of it’s time. The only downside was the over-large “quartic” steering wheel – another feature shared with the later SD1 and more (in)famously, the Allegro.
Rover P8 drawing by the Bache studio: Striking and imposing are two words that come to mind, even in this early stage of design. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.
An alternative frontal design, incorporating elements of the P6 and Range Rover. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.
Glassbacked sketch: An interesting idea, although one suspects that the cost and engineering implications of this would be too much for Rover. Ahead of its time, nonetheless. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.
Bache interior made it to pre-production almost unchanged. Note the quartic wheel in this sketch (c.1969), and then compare this with the same picture in the SD1 development story. (Picture: Motor magazine), supplied by Jerry Ford.