Concepts and Prototypes : Pininfarina BLMC 1100 Aerodynamica (1968)

The Pininfarina BLMC 1100 Aerodynamica concept was the second in a series of streamlined family saloons – this time based on the BMC 1100/1300.

It was an extraordinary-looking car and, just like its larger brother, it was literally years ahead of its time.

Pininfarina and British Leyland: Reshaping the family car

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100

First revealed at the Turin Motor Show in 1968, the Aerodynamica was a brave attempt by its designer to show the world that it had the wherewithal to redefine what was expected from a mid-sized family car. The five-door hatchback was compact and roomy, and quite simply years ahead of anything else.

What makes the Pininfarina 1100 Aerodynamica and its 1800 brother studies so interesting is that they weren’t commissioned by the BMC or British Leyland. But they both caused huge interest at the time they were revealed in 1967 and ’68, and clearly influenced a number of major car manufacturers. The five-door hatchbacks pre-dated the stampede towards two-box designs which became so prevalent in the 1970s.

Had BL been brave enough to put them into production, it would have had those cutting edge cars that Donald Stokes and George Turnbull often referred to. It’s not that the British company didn’t have the opportunity – the 1800 was shipped to the UK for serious evaluation, while the 1100 was also reviewed, albeit not seriously.

Expensive to develop, glorious to behold

Both models would, of course, have been mightily expensive to develop, and production versions would have looked a whole lot simpler but, in light of the Allegro and Princess, it doesn’t stop one wondering today. Chances are they’d have sold no better – one only needs to see the Citroën CX and GS’s sales in the UK to see that.

When the smaller ADO16-based BLMC 1100 car was unveiled in 1968, it was just as sensational as the previous year’s 1800.

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100
An original Paolo Martin sketch for the BLMC 1100

Despite what you might read elsewhere, it was Paolo Martin who styled the 1800 and 1100, and he did a magnificent job with both. The earlier car, the 1800, was dramatically proportioned and, in many ways, easier to style as a consequence. For the scaling down to work so successfully in the 1100 shows a mastery of touch by Martin.

More tragically, looking at the dimensions of this car, it would have perfectly fitted in to the medium-sized hatchback market that would explode in popularity in the wake of the launch of the Volkswagen Golf in 1974.

The story behind the 1100

Lorenzo Ramaciotti, a former General Manager of Pininfarina, told AROnline in 2002: ‘When we are convinced we have a truly good idea, we strive to convince others, especially if the idea concerns a topic close to our hearts. In 1967, aerodynamics was still a rather exclusive topic, just for technical people and afficionados, while Pininfarina had always regarded it as a fundamental element in body design.

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100

‘Shortly thereafter, in fact, the firm began building its wind tunnel, the first in Italy for full-scale automobiles, inaugurated in 1973. At the London Motor Show in 1967, it presented a prototype on BMC 1800 mechanics that achieved a number of ambitious results simultaneously.

‘It radically improved aerodynamic performance, dropping Cd values from 0.45 to 0.35, and it updated the traditional three-box shape of the sedan, transforming it into a tapered two-volume and expanding its versatility by increasing load space and applying a large cargo hatch.

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100
Paolo Martin’s schematics for the BLMC 1100 – we can see that it has a 96in wheelbase – pretty much the same as a 1980 Ford Escort Mk3. This is a three-door version, which we never saw in concept form

‘The following year, to demonstrate that the formula was also valid for smaller cars, it built a similar prototype on the chassis of the small BLMC 1100 for the Turin Show. These two cars represented the models for the two-volume sedans that were to become enormously popular in the decade to follow. But though they were the first attempts in this direction, they already displayed total formal maturity.

The same size as a Citroën GS

‘The car illustrated in the photos is still perfectly functional and has exactly the same dimension as the Citroën GS that appeared in 1971.

‘The design was simple and uniform, continuous. The nose clustered elements into specific functional groups without aesthetic forcing. The air intake concealed beneath the bumper was well-positioned aerodynamically, the rubber crush zone between the headlamps completed the transition between hoods and fenders, and the scalloped headlamps were the primary decorative element of the front end.

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100
Paolo Martin’s 1100 Aerodynamica does not look like a car that was unveiled in 1968. Reflecting the change in the company’s name, it proudly wore BLMC on its nose – the only car to do so…

‘The slab sides were smooth, with flush fenders. Indicative of the close attention to detail were the door handles hidden into the chromed window sill moulding. The tail cut was short and efficient, and the broad backlight doubled as a cargo hatch. The roofline recalled a wing profile, continuously curving, sustained by thin pillars that enhanced interior light and driver visibility.

‘Adding strength to all this, and avoiding a fragile look was a series of oriented louvres that lent the optical weight of a strong C-pillar without blocking the visibility of the driver.’

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100

BLMC-Pininfarina Aerodynamica 1100

Keith Adams


  1. Another missed opportunity – I know we like to live in the past here, and hindsight is such a wonderful planning aid for all of us now. But WHAT were they thinking of at BLMC when they rejected this and the 1800 – and come to that the P6B, the Lynx, the P6 replacement (I can never figure out if that was the P8 or P9) and so on. Seems Lyons had a had in much of it, protecting the Jaguar brand at the expense of Triumph, Rover/Alvis and the like. I need to visit the Theatre of Tears again for some solace 🙂

    • it was Rover that (bought and then) killed off Alvis!… and later it’s more powerful position at Leyland was used to (effectively) kill Triumph too (by replacing the Rover P6 instead of the better selling Triumph 2000/2500) .. bearing in mind that Triumph never made a loss.

      • Remember that Issigonis joined Alvis to design to replacement for the Alvis Grey Lady, Alex Moulton pointed out to Issigonis that Alvis lacked the funds to tool and manufacture, Issigonis returned to Morris, the new Alvis was scrapped, how did Rover kill Alvis? Alvis moved over to produce military vehicles

  2. Even today there is a futuristic, modern look about these designs. As a kid, my Matchbox ‘BMC 1800’in gold was my favourite model car.

  3. Had a bit of a senior moment there – the Volvo ad beneath the first pic suggested this was £20k on the road! Who puts those damn things there – is this the price we pay to keep the site going???

  4. Certainly nicer than an Allegro and would have fitted the Morris-Conventional, Austin-Innovative mantra of the time. There would have been far less overlap between this car and the Marina. Its interesting to look at the BL film produced about the Marina development. With the collection of pipe smoking, horn rimmed, leather patched idiots who where responsible for BL development at the time its no wonder cars like this where passed over in favour of the Allegro/Marina.

  5. I agree, yet ANOTHER missed opportunity, it seems very strange that a company that builds cars seem to do everything in its power to bring the company to its knees.

  6. My first close look at this car. Has anyone else seen the hints towards the SD1? Those tail lights with their fluting? The hint of a midriff scallop?

    It also looks like a far more sorted version of the experimental car of ’82 if memory serves. The one based on a Metro.

    And being a past owner of an Alfasud Sprint, the Kamm tail & general rear proportions certainly show a great similarity.

    • Well the SD1 was effectively styled by Pininfarina as the SD1 design was more than influenced by the Ferrari Daytona.

  7. I too a gold Matchbox “BMC 1800”, people used to try telling me it was a Citroen. It’s a shame Citroen managed to get themselves taken over by Peugeot in the early ’70s.

  8. Yes, both ground-breaking designs for their time, and clearly influential – both the Citroen GS & CX have visual links to both of these cars, as does the SD1, and to a lesser degree the Lancia Gamma Berlina and Beta Berlina. So much better than a Maxi or Allegro…..but here’s the problem, would BLMC really have had the guts to put 2 futuristic, and no doubt complex to manufacture Italian designs, when it had it’s own largely ex-Ford design and engineering team? And although both of these cars still look great today, was Joe Public ready for such forward-thinking in the early 70s? Especially judging by the reception given to the Citroen GS & CX in the UK.

  9. @10, Simon_H,

    Both the GS and the CX sold in respectable numbers and were a common sight in the ’70s- and didn’t have the advantage of being ‘British’- at that time, many people ‘bought British’ out of a sense of patriotic duty.

    Both the Maxi and the 1800 put buyers off because of their awkward and unappealing styling- Issigonis ought to have been taken in hand and made to accept the fact that his anti-styling stance was badly affecting sales.

    I think the alternative styling proposals would have done much to shore up the company. For a start, the Allegro would not have been needed as the 1100-based Pininfarini concept could easily have served up until the early ’80s, as the GS did- especially if converted to a hatch.

    And would these designs have been harder to productionise than those that actually did get the green light?

  10. “Both the GS and the CX sold in respectable numbers and were a common sight in the ’70s” Really? Not in the West Midlands! It was all Vivas, Avengers, Cortinas, Escorts and BL tin. If you were lucky you caught site of one of those exotic new fangled Datsun things……

    • Amazingly – other markets for cars do exist. Who would have thought that the car park at Carrefour in Montpellier has a rather different car mix than the car park at Asda in Wolverhampton!

  11. @12, Simon_H,

    Fair point, I spent the 70s and most of the 80s in Bath and Cheltenham where both were plentiful.

      • Citroen never were major players in the UK until the BX. They had a small and loyal following for their cars before the mid eighties, but many buyers considered them too avant garde and difficult to maintain. If you wanted a French car in the early eighties, most people chose a Renault or a Peugeot as they were more conventional and Peugeot’s larger cars were aspirational.

  12. Funny innit, that even Matchbox had more vision then BLMC and productionised this. It also as a hint of Lancia about it.

  13. I actually get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read articles like this. How could it all be thrown away? Short termism and self interest. Tragic.

  14. The sad truth is that BMC just did not have the money to develop these cars. This would have been a truly worthy and logical successor to the ADO16, continuing with the Pinifarina styling that had made the 1962 car such a sales success in the 1960’s. However, BMC appear to have lost all concept of effective marketing, product life cycles and product profitability during the 1960’s.

  15. I inherited that Matchbox or Lesney model car from my sister, but it was never a favourite. But now I like it!

    If BMC had productionised this in the early 70s, the bonnet would have been raised to accommodate the b-series, a-la Allegro, and very soon it would not have looked like this thoroughly modern shape!

    I’d like to think that the vibrant car industry that has returned to the Midlands of late will raise the profile of the NEC as a location for the motorshow, and designs like this can debut once again in Birmingham!

  16. The idea of Austin=innovative, Morris=conventional was an ill-conceived idea, although it did have a certain logic to it, because Ford was such a formidable foe.

    It was as if BLMC did a second take; had a crisis of confidence over its commitment to FWD/transverse and Hydrolastic layout. At the time, how were they to know that the FWD would take the entire global motor industry by storm in a few short years: at the time, the idea of Ford producing a FWD/transverse engined car was laughable. So, seeing the Cortina go from strength to strength, it is understandable why they sunk money to create a competitor to their own innovative range!

    The other big mistake was letting anyone from the ex-Ford design studios anywhere near Longbridge. The Marina should never have even reached the drawing board, let along leave it signed-off; even at launch it looked uncomfortable on its small wheels; compromised, and they were bland to drive, only slightly better than the Allegro.

    So, to summerise, far too many competing projects draining the money box, and losing the amazing focus that birthed the ADO15 and ado16, and to a lesser extent, the 1800 meant that BMC simply FAILED to see the amazing potential of these Italian studio designs. These SHOULD have been the new replacement models for ADO16 and 17 respectively. Instead we go Marinas, Allegros, Wedges (-a good idea, but too little too late) Montegos and other cars so forgettable their names escape me! (Note: We DID get the Metro, which actually ended up to be quite a good British-born car.)

    Most importantly, signing off these two Italian beauties would have given the company time, resources and focus to fully develop them to be right first time. And over Lord Stokes grave, YES, badge engineer them to get the varies trim levels to market and preserve our heritage. (OK, that LAST idea is very much in hindsight; it is only recently that the MERITS of BMC “badge engineering” have been fully appreciated.)

  17. I have to say that my Matchbox 1800 has lasted well. The paint work is still shiny, and no sign of rust anywhere. Pity that Matchbox didn’t make them in 12 inch to the foot scale……………..

  18. @Paul Stigter

    Would likely weigh about 4 tonnes given the relative metal thickness, with only front opening doors with no window, boot or bonnet and a one piece moulded interior. No steering, no engine, no running gear. Though it can freewheel about the place if you could borrow an empty multistorey car park…

  19. These cars are indeed pretty but the Alegro was pretty on paper- look at Harris Mann’s original drawings. It appears that continental companies were better at productionising designs. That and they made the investments needed to produce them.
    Designers and design itself has never been widely accepted by the very conservative and mistrustful British public. I am a designer, I know! Industrial design is near dead in the UK. In France, Italy and Japan it is respected.

  20. Suggesting BMC didn’t have the money to invest in these cars is nonsense. Lotus produced the wonderful Esprit…They didnt have the leadership and freedom from government and union interference.

  21. Both the Pininfarina 1100 & 1800 are both quite amazing – talk about ahead of their time!
    Would they have perhaps been too futuristic for the market at that time? As Francis points out, however, tame the nose and you were talking more “appealingly advanced”.

  22. We had a really good Citroen dealer in this part of Wiltshire at the time – the CX was really popular and GS’s were quite common too.
    I’m not putting my colours one way or the other but we have to admit that BMC/BL were brave – the Mini, 1100, 1800 and Maxi were nothing if not revolutionary – and the 3ltr was extraordinary. One must remember that everyone else’s cars looked like the Mk2 or 3 Cortina. I think there were lots of other factors mentioned here that stopped BL from going the Pininfarina route – but lack bravery was not one of them. Lack of appreciation for what the public wanted their cars to look like – might be a more likely problem. Perceived (or real) lack of development money might be another. Even a dogged desire to keep styling (relatively) in house rather than openly going back to Farina?

    • But that’s the point. They weren’t “brave”. They came up with mechanicals that arguably were second to none and then put them in bodywork that’d send Jigsaw running for his mommy.. That’s the sort of bravery posthumous VCs are made of…
      Either that or they made something that looked like the dogs danglies but had been put together with play-do and painted with something you’d find in a special school classroom (on the basis it’s safe to eat) which lasted about 15 minutes in bright sunlight (when it wasn’t beaten by the Usain Bolt of tin worms).
      That’s not to say any other manufacturers were much better (any Renault painted red faded faster than Jimmy Savilles reputation) but I’ve never heard of a car from another manufacturer that went through 3 gearboxes in 6 months while owned by the most mechanically sensitive person on the planet (an Austin Allegro, that actually reduced the owner to tears by the end).
      Ah, the three litre. What you would get if you ripped off a Humber Super Snipe up to the A posts, stuck a Landcrab in the middle and welded the behind of an 1100 on just for a laugh. Granted its aged well, but in comparison to the competition then, it was hideous. Technologically it was advanced, but as far as customer appreciation it was about equal to 6 month old rice pudding. The front end with the bug eye duals looks like someone literally took a chainsaw to the first 6 inches of a series Snipe, welded it up, and went down the pub.

  23. Call me conventional or plain old traditional but I can t stand the Citroen s of the 1960 s and 70 s. And the look of this thing is just as bad. Thank god BL did nt adopt this- i for one would never buy it or be seen dead in it. My personal opinion is the look is totally awkward, the front is space age and the back looks like they didn’t even know how to finish it properly and said that’ll do (bit like the Tr7). I respect people s opinion s on a missed opportunity, but I can t see anything other than an ugly, cumbersome 1970 s Ds design. Hideous.

    Ps also thank god Bl did nt get into bed with Renault in the late 70 s/early 80 s, when they were looking for a partner. Can you imagine an Austin R9. Would have been a pile of junk.

  24. Proof that it is possible to shoot yourself in the foot with a thermonuclear device – if you try hard enough.
    Would have passed muster even in the 80s easily.
    But after a while it’s like watching politicians tapdancing in a minefield – you know someone is going to get hurt but you just don’t care because you’ve gone round and round the same old circle too many times.
    If this is the sort of mistake they kept making, and it is, then MGR should have been allowed to die long before it did.
    It was like DEC selling VAX-in-a-box in the 80s and expecting to make a profit, but this is worse, time after time they had the chance of a good product and they turned them down in favour of spavined crapwagons.

  25. The shape was succesfully developed by Citroen – see the CX.
    And they earned money manufacturing it in huge quantities.
    What`s more the CX is becoming a desirable classic these days.
    Shame about BLMC`s in-home other designs – just awful.

  26. Good looking but wheels look too tiny. As mentioned above the design would have been corrupted by engine/heater choice, a flat four would have fitted but added cost xxxxx

  27. Love these designs.
    But if they really were unrealistic, I wonder if there were cheaper alternatives?
    The 1100/1300, the company’s last big hit, could have been developed, its range broadened and life extended.
    The Austin Apache/Victoria (in South Africa and Spain) was a handsome-looking car. The bigger boot could have made it a stronger challenger to the Cortina and Viva than the ADO16 was and might have ensured we’d never have had the Marina.
    The Morris Nomad (Australia) was uglier, but a hatch. At 1500cc it might have slid into the Maxi slot more successfully (or at least more cheaply) than the dumpy frumpy folly that we actually got.
    Could a 1500cc engine been put into the Apache? That would have made it even better Cortina rival.
    BMC concentrated on cosmetic changes at the front of the ADO16s for badge engineering. But the real work should have been done at the back.
    In a world in which BMC wasn’t taken over by Leyland (sorry, merged), a slimline version of the company with fewer product lines and concentrating on its tried-and-tested ADO16 might have been a survival project that worked.
    OK, the Nomad and the Apache came after the Leyland takeover but the ideas were there and they actually happened, unlike the Carrozzeria designs.
    Ford kept it simple. Three basic models, Escort, Cortina (and its Capri coupe), Granada (Consul). And it succeeded.
    A BMC that consisted of Mini, various updated ADO16s (straddling the Escort and Cortina market) and maybe the Landcrab (ditching the Minor, Oxford/Cambridge earlier and not bothering with the three litre) might have seen it move into the mid-70s more securely.

    Unresolved questions here: MG, light commercials and the marque badges.
    Incidentally, I have learned today that if you do an image search for “Austin Victoria” you find many images of a young gentleman in underwear.

    • With an updated ADO16 the ideal would have been 1600-1750cc E-Series at the upper end of the range (unsure whether a 1.6-2.0 O-Series would have fitted) with the in-sump gearbox replaced by an end-on gearbox. The Mini ideally should have also received an end-on gearbox as well amongst other updates from the late-60s/early-70s.

      The Landcrab meanwhile should have ideally been a 2-litre+ (via a 2-litre B/O-Series) and remained RWD from the outset, it was a mistake for BMC to have been fully committed to FWD for its larger cars above the Mini / ADO16 and retaining RWD would have benefited MG (via the EX234 and ADO21, etc).

      • You could have got the 1600 in there, and possibly resurrect the twin cam? It’s apparently possible to shoehorn an 1800 B series in a Mini (the question “why?” comes to mind) so there is a chance it’ll fit in an 1100.
        The big block 1800 can be bored out to 1950cc and it makes quite a difference. It’d be possible to stroke the engine a little too like Renault did with the Douvrin (2.2 was a long stroke 2.0).. But wouldn’t that clash with the 2.2 EI6? Dual point EFI has been done with the B series so that’s possible..

        FWD was the way to go, but they should have done it with everything or not at all. Commonality of parts & transmissions (the 1800 single carb literally screams for a 5spd manual), better and safer handling, better in snow and in the wet, more interior space.
        As it was you had 2 types of manual, 2 auto and different versions within that. Then you have propshafts and the rear axle castings and the space taken up inside.

        If they were going to go high tech then do it. The Austin advanced and Morris ancient makes no sense since you can get a 1800 landcrab Morris.

        Supercharge the 1800 B series (140-150hp no problem). You can stick that in the 1800/MGB and that’ll free up Rover V8s for the Stag. Supercharged diesel 1800 B 78-85hp for the 1800 & an option on Sherpa.

        Even a supercharged 1600 engine will get you an even 100hp.. With the 72hp Riley head – the twin cam gets you 150hp.

        Inline 6 of the 1800 B – 2.7. 129/146/218 respectively for landlobster, MGC and a Langnasen Sherpa (218hp for Ambulance and police – Gene Hunts favourite van) . Diesel versions for Landlobster and Sherpa, ~ 120hp supercharged. A V12, 5.4, would have given you 436 supercharged, 292 NA. More than competitive and 8-9mpg or so.

        The more commonality the more money saved and if you are clever you set things up so mating surfaces, sumps, mounts and shaft sizes splines etc are common so owners can buy upgrade kits (which make you *more* money). The Americans could manage it…

        Develop what you can as far as you can equals happy bank balance. Amazed BLMC never learned this.

        And a 3 cylinder B series 1800 gives you 1350 petrol & diesel engines – guess where they’ll fit? A 59hp supercharged diesel and a 65hp petrol engine for 1100/1300 and potentially Mini – and in diesel/feedback carb/efi form the Metro & Maestro

        • Having given things a bit more thought since 2017, am increasingly leaning towards the idea that BMC needed a 1000-1600cc engine based on A-Series principles (in the manner of the South African engines and A-OHC prototype) to appear in the early/mid-60s between the 1275cc A-Series and 1798cc B-Series (akin to the Nissan A OHV / Nissan E OHC engines – with 3 later 5-bearing crankshaft, alloy 7/8-port crossflow head, etc), which is roughly the same weight as the A-Series and compact enough to fit into a Mini engine bay yet more of an indirect replacement for the A-Series featuring a bore range of 70.6mm-76mm and a stroke range of 62mm-88mm (due to initially appearing in 1380-1596cc forms). Such an engine could have been used for the Mini, ADO16, Midget, etc.

          Am also assuming the A-Series would exist alongside this engine akin to how Renault produced both the B-Type and C-Type engines concurrently until the mid/late-80s due to the economy benefits of the undersquare 998-1275cc A-Series, while the new engine in sub-1300cc form would be likely be an oversquare design despite both engines being related.

          With the alternate E-Series in turn being more like the S-Series and featuring a shorter block (with scope for a crossflow head) yet capable of displacing 1600-2000cc in 4-cylinder form via 88.5mm bore centres and no siamised bores to replace both the B-Series and C-Series (in 6-cylinder form).

          In better circumstances the B-Series could have been enlarged to a 106 hp 1998cc and spawned a UK-built 2400-3000cc equivalent of the Oz-built Blue Streak B-Series 6-cylinder engine (and related Nissan L engine) years before prior to being replaced (together with a properly developed C-Series engine) by an alternate E6 engine of similar displacement up to 3000cc.

          We can agree to disagree on the subject of FWD, the fact is BMC was badly hurt by not having any conventional RWD cars for the fleet / company car market during the 60s let alone for conservative buyers weary of FWD who instead flocked to Ford, Vauxhall, etc and as a result made BMC pay the price for not differentiating Austin and Morris much earlier akin to Fiat and post-Primula Autobianchi.

          An early-60s low-cost Minor-based trio for Morris conceived by Gerald Palmer foreshadowing his involvement at Vauxhall (and later replaced by a Roy Haynes design successor modular trio) compassing a Viva HA rival (in place of the Elf/Hornet in terms of bodystyle) up to a Corsair / Victor FD rival would have helped remedy that issue, retained conservative BMC buyers as well as provided BMC with much needed money to help balance out the costs of Issigonis’s FWD trio* and put the profits towards further refining the FWD layout for the next generation (ideally with an end-on gearbox layout and hatchback – assuming the latter was not already implemented in the FWD trio to take advantage of the space efficiency of the FWD layout), on top of basically butterflying away anything resembling real-world British Leyland from ever happening.

          The three-box saloon versions of the Issigonis FWD trio would form the basis of Vanden Plas variants without overlapping with the Morris RWD three-box trio (Riley and Wolseley being merged with Vanden Plas).

          *- short of Joe Edwards succeeding Lord, grounding Issigonis and actually implementing Duncan Stuart and his Research Department’s suggestion of cost-cutting Mini (pre-ADO20) as well as ADO16, etc.

    • The 1500 E Series went into the Nomad & Morris 1500 [standard ADO16 body] with a pronounced bonnet bulge. It would have gone into the Apache/Victoria with at most minor changes. The Apache’s modified ADO16 styling was the work of Michelotti, presumably commissioned by Harry Webster after he went to Longbridge. It would have been an alternative to both Allegro and Marina. With Charles Griffin’s modified ADO16 suspension it would have been a tidy package. Sigh!

  28. If the Pininfarina BLMC 1100 Aerodynamica concept has exactly the same dimensions as the Citroën GS over the existing 1100 yet with the wheelbase of an Allegro, would it have really been worthwhile adopting what essentially amounts to a roughly Maxi-sized body on an 1100 based platform?

    It is my understanding the BLMC 1800 Aerodynamica’s height was lowered by 5-inches, reduced drag coefficient from 0-45 to 0.35 and an extra 10 mph. Yet on the negative side gained an extra 183kg and was 17-inches longer over the existing 1800/2200 (or closer in length to the 3-litre), although Fioravanti believed weight could be reduced by around 100-130kg if produced in volume. One would have to assume the 1100 Aerodynamica would have possessed a similar weight increase and by extension the Mini version as well.

    Whatever the merits of the Aerodynamica concepts themes, it seems like it would have only exacerbated problems with BMC’s models unwittingly drifting away from their original design parameters into the segment above where the rebodied 1800 is actually longer than the Princess in terms of length.

    • Yes, it’s a LOT longer than ADO16, so not an ideal replacement.

      A shame the Maxi didn’t look like this, though no doubt once the E series and bulky heater (?) were shoehorned in, it would no doubt have got podgier

      • To be fair the Maxi-based Aquila concept was a more viable variation of the theme, which could have done with a bit of Pininfarina flair even if it is not yet known whether its dimensions significantly differed from the regular Maxi as was the case with the Pininfarina Aerodynamica concepts (including the Mini-based one).

        As for other elements like the E-Series and bulky heater down to both the Landcrab and Maxi themselves (plus indirectly the 3-litre), they simply should not have been allowed to drift away from their original brief or be compromised by strictures like those doors, planned side-mounted radiator on Landcrab, E-Series block height, etc.

        Been trying to confirm whether the Nissan A and E OHC engines did indeed share the same 82,5mm bore pitch as the E-Series (and possibly the R/S-Series).

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