THIS was the car that Rover fans have been waiting for since the launch of the 75 in the autumn of 1998. The coupe version of what has been dubbed the best car in Rover’s history. Looking at the design proposal, it was hard not to be impressed with the saloon to coupe transformation, but then again, big coupes nearly always look better than their saloon counterparts. On the 75 Coupe, the transformation was amazingly well conceived – the roof line was stunning, and it gelled perfectly with the rest of the car.
The company’s design team wanted to mark the first 100 years of the Rover marque – and chose this project to do it in style. MG Rover was also deep in negotiations with SAIC at the time, and felt a glamorous car like this would have acted as a perfect showcase for its talents. This objective was achieved with the Rover 75 Coupe concept – and all aspects of its design – interior and exterior – impressed all who set eyes upon it.
The concept’s interior was conceived to capture the elegance of Rover, and as a result, strongly focused on Yew wood and Tan leather hide introducing the style of designer furniture into the automotive lounge, extending Rover’s trademark for a welcoming interior.
Peter Stevens, Rover’s design director at the time said: ‘I want people to turn away for a moment from post modern brutalism and to enjoy the elegant and timeless lines of the 75 Coupe’s design. The true character of a Rover comes from its ability to present a cosseting environment with comfort and refinement being the high priorities, elements that should be expressed in the form and detailing of the exterior of the car. Heritage is a great strength for a marque as it gives you the terms of reference and something to build on for the future. That is exactly how we saw the challenge of presenting a Rover concept in its Centenary year.’
If nothing else, it would have brought a touch of British elegance and understatement to the sub-£30K coupe market.
Such a shame…