The Rover 75 (R40) was developed under BMW’s watch. It did without tight budgetary constraints that the company had become used to while under the ownership of BAe. These engineering values endowed the 75 with almost previously unheard of quality.
However, BMW’s Chairman, Bernd Pischetsrieder, decided to torpedo the car – and the company that produced it. This was at its launch at the NEC in 1998, because of political pressure BMW was under. Sales of the 75 were slow from launch, but the car’s excellence was recognised by all who drove it.
Its fans loved its comfort and tasteful design. The 75 proved a victim of the BMW sell-off, although the resultant development of the MG ZT variant was a high point. Lived on in China as the Roewe 750.