During the Metro’s honeymoon period of the early 1980s, Austin Rover’s Designers toyed with the idea of a number of exciting variations on a theme.
Here’s one that perhaps you weren’t expecting to see…
(Picture: Roy Axe)
You can’t blame Austin Rover for trying – the Metro was a hot little number during the early 1980s, and the design and marketing team was constantly on the lookout for ways to develop the theme and maximise sales. We’ve already been treated to the Metro saloon and the later R6-based Scout model, so it’s time to unveil the Ranger, a pick-up aimed at the recreational market…
Very much a niche programme, the Ranger was never conceived for volume sale, just a little fun. And as can be seen from the accompanying images, the Ranger was treated with some of the visual accoutrements that marked out the Matra Rancho, but in an open-decked form. The roof-mounted spotlights and nudge bars complement all-weather tyres on chunky Minilite-style alloy wheels. Precisely what market this vehicle was aimed at is unclear, but given the similarly conceived Talbot Wind’s failure to capture volume sales, we can only assume that the project was canned on the basis that the outlay wouldn’t realise additional sales.
What do you think? Do you think the Ranger should have been launched?
Rear end view shows just how much Metro they cut away to make the Ranger…
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