Concepts and Prototypes : Rover P10, Concept 1

Some images from the Rover P10 programme, that would eventually sire the Rover SD1…

Rover P10 concept design

The Rover P10 and Triumph Puma were rival projects to build British Leyland’s 1970s replacement for the Rover P6 and Triumph 2000/2500. These images show what Rover’s thinking was – a large, sleek five-door hatchback that was as intended to be as progressive as the P6 had been at its launch in 1963.

In the run-up to the Canley versus Solihull shoot-out, David Bache’s team pressed ahead with a series of five-door designs for the P10. These came down to three basic shapes, this being the first.

P10: First Proposal

This version was blessed with a rather formulaic 1970s front-end style – big, rectangular headlamps and a high bonnet line linking it well with the Harris Mann-penned Princess, being designed at the same time in Longbridge. The angular roofline and rather low bootline resulted in a rather unhappy mix of ideas.

The clamshell side doors were a nice touch though, not being adopted by the industry as a whole until well into the 1980s. Note the louvres in the rear side window of the model in the right, rear picture. It is interesting to note that in the middle photograph, pictures of a Citroën SM and the Pininfarina Modulo can be seen in the background.

This was rejected in favour of a more progressive design that would ultimately become the definitive Rover P10.

Variations on a theme

Additional images supplied by Etienne van der Linden.

Keith Adams


  1. These have quite a 70s Renault feel to them, the 3rd photo down looks a bit like a Renault 20 whereas the red model below it, with that strange pillar looks like the Renault 15 coupe!

  2. The first proposal with a hatchback should have been shipped straight to Cowley with instructions to bin the Princess. It could have replaced the Maxi at the same time

  3. As usual the drawings and models don’t look too bad but the full size clay looks bland and boring. Any one notice the model on the rear left? What’s that? It looks like a Peugeot 505 years before it was built!

    • Yes I’ve spotted it.

      I wonder how the SD1 would have fared being a 3 box saloon like this, with maybe an estate alternative.

      The full size model would have probably been better as a Princess design replacing the Maxi as well, as suggested above.

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