Blog: RD/X60: Mystery wrapped in an enigma

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists


TOOK a closer look at the RD/X60 ‘concept’ pictures today, and it has to be said, there are one or two aspects that simply don’t add up.

OK, it’s an enhanced picture of a clay model (clay model so late in the development phase? *gulp*), but there are one or two rather crude Photoshopperies on it which really have to cast into doubt the picture’s validity. As can be seen from the above picture, the rear lights and badge are obviously a copy/paste job (and quite crude ones at that), and in no way look genuine – so does that mean there were no rear clusters at all on the model?

Once you come to this conclusion, you’re looking at what it someone’s interpretation of what they saw…

blogrdx60_02There is no doubt this picture was taken within the vaults of MGR design studio, but by whom? The background has to be genuine, because no one would go to the lengths of mocking-up a ‘Fire Escape’ and staircase.

What I suspect we have is a controlled leak – perhaps one which came into the possession of The Sun, AutoExpress and Autocar (simultaneously, remember) as a means of publicising the fact that Rover really is working on something new, without making an official statement, as the car is still a couple of years off.

Also it’s interesting to note the interior schemes for the 75’s interior facelift are clearly on view (right) – just at the time Sun journalist Ken Gibson gets a sneak peak via his drive of the magnificent coupe concept version.

And if it’s a controlled leak (and I’m only speculating here), then there is no reason why MGR would reveal the genuine RD/X60 concept – allowing this picture to throw journalists and commentators off the scent. After all, our trusted source seems to think Autocar’s renderings from August were pretty close to what he understood the final design would look like.

What we must never lose sight of is there are some extremely canny folk buried in Longbridge, and it seems pretty inconceivable to me that they would allow someone into the inner sanctums of the design studio and loose off a picture of a clay model. I remember my time from Gaydon – it was almost impossible to get within a mile of the styling studio unless you have a very good reason to be there.

So, are the canny tacticians from Longbridge playing a curved ball to the press by drip feeding us questionable information? I wouldn’t bet against it.

I think, in reality, we probably know as much about the RD/X60 now as we did before the photograph emerged…

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created 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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