Concepts and prototypes : ADO88/LC8 Metro engineering drawings

These Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings are very interesting, because they show how this clever little supermini evolved from the ADO88 to the LC8.

Although the two cars look very different, underneath they were pretty similar, and reveal how this car received an emergency pre-launch facelift.

The design concept as it makes its way to customer clinic testing
The design concept as it makes its way to customer clinic testing

Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings

A fascinating find uncovered – 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 it was…

Oh, and if you have images like this lurking in your collection and would like to share them, please get in touch


ADO88 technical drawings

The ADO88 so nearly made it into production – and would have been BL’s bargain basement supermini campaigner. Until a last minute change of heart…

As can be seen from these images, the engineering drawings were so detailed that it must have been weeks away from having the tooling built up.

We’ve seen plenty of images of the ADO88 elsewhere, and wonder who it would have fared against the opposition – would it have been more, or less, of a success than the Austin Metro?

Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings

Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings

Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings

Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings


LC8 technical drawings

The facelifted ADO88, which emerged as the Metro, looks a much more substantial car for its revamp but, as can be seen from the images below (and above), although lots of sheet metal changes were required for the metamorphosis, the underpinnings were left pretty much untouched.

Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings

Austin Metro prototype engineering drawings

Keith Adams

3 Comments

  1. I know the Metro’s tailgate was relatively steep for its day but the ADO88’s was even more so. Another example of ‘ahead of its time thinking’.

  2. As a mechanic / diy’er who spent time underneath my 10 years of ownership of an1982 Metro I think I recognise the floorpan being the same for both cars

    Late into development the Metro sides gained width in a change to the sides from flat to “cottage loaf” rounded. i guess it was too late floorpan to be altered nor the subframes etc which set the trackwidth of the front and rear wheels.

    This must be why the Metro had a lot of overhang over the wheels, the changes made the car appear to be overwidth for its wheels, I suppose the changes gave the car some useful extra ” elbow room ” for the occupants.

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