News : New Triumph SD2 image emerges on Motorgraphs

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Triumph SD2

We have become quite used to the rather ungainly styling of the Triumph SD2 prototype as it emerged from the catacombs of the Specialist Division between 1972 and ’75. However, this image, which has just been published on Motorgraphs, has us scratching our heads a little. You can read the full story here, and learn why it was replaced by the TM1 programme briefly before being passed over by the rather more sensible Maestro and Montego brothers.

The images was brought to our attention by AROnline reader, Roderik Saskia, from the Netherlands, who commented, ‘I was rather surprised to find this picture of a Rover [sic] SD2 on the BMIHT-website. It is new to my eyes and looking rather good, I’d say, with clear contemporary Italian overtones. I guess this is either the Michelotti proposal or perhaps the Pininfarina one, which is mentioned in your story. Very nice to have finally seen it!’

We agree, and have to say that, in reality, it once again shows just how much potential the SD2 programme really contained. We have a taste of this, with the fully-completed SD2 engineering prototype which resides at the British Motor Museum (nee Heritage Motor Centre) at Gaydon, but this stylish proposal reveals the programme in a whole new light. In addition, it clearly shows that not everyone thought this car should have looked like a little SD1.

It’s not the first Italian design scheme to be passed over in favour of an in-house one. Other cars include the Rover R6 Metro, Jaguar XJ40 and facelifted 1100/1300 and 1800 – but it’s sad to see something quite so promising looking added to the list.

Link: Search Motorgraphs now

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

71 Comments

  1. Now that you mention it, it seems a hatchback. Hadn’t noticed yet, thought it was a somewhat peculiar notch…

    Btw: I’m Roderik from Rotterdam in the Netherlands, not from Austria 🙂

  2. I must confess I did spot that a while back when I was researching my TR7 book but didn’t take it further because the SD2 story, fascinating as it is, wasn’t the main thrust of the book. In brief there were either two or three SD2 full size models; David Bache’s one we have seen at Gaydon, one from Pininfarina and (I am relying on memory of research rather than certainty here) one from Guigaro. One of the things with DB was that he liked to give his ideas (or those of his team) prominence; BL Styling Services was competing against the external contractors and that is one of the reasons why Michelotti was pushed from stylist to prototype builder (he built the TR7 convertible, for example). SD2 had a studio viewing by senior management and Bache’s style got the nod – I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he made sure his git the better positioning, lighting and so on. There were some regrets amongst senior management but they had seen the superb styling of the SD1 (from Bache’s studio, but not his pen) and I am sure that helped them decide.

  3. If I ever do turn my attention to the replacement of the Dolomite there were some really nice in house designs from the old Triumph studio. Another tragedy from the BLsaga.

  4. @David Knowles Big question I always had: would the final production SD2 have been much different from DB’s styling proposal? Find it hard to imagine that this grand designer wouldn’t have come up with a better result than what we now know…

  5. Interesting background to that photograph – it doesn’t look like anyone’s styling studio, but rather more like a hotel. Perhaps this was a marketing clinic exercise – certainly, identifying the car as ‘Y’ is the sort of thing that went on in clinics. Somebody reading this must know the answer?

  6. I think it actually does look like the presentation of a styling studio?

    After reading the repost of the Spen King interview over Christmas, I did look for the Pininfarina SD2 proposal and came across the photo above but wasn’t sure if it was it. The Pininfarina version was preferred by Spen King over the internal car. If this is it, I think actually the Michelotti proposal was the best of the three.

  7. From the picture it does indeed look better then the ungainly styling of the Triumph SD2 prototype though the front-end appears to almost resemble the Anandol FW11 and makes me wonder if this car is connected to the TM1 project.

  8. I will have a look later at my transcribed copy from the relevant Board minutes because that had notes of the aftermath of a viewing -but where it was I don’t know. The thing is that according to several styling insiders David B had some curious tastes in the 1970s (didn’t most people!) and he played games with viewing sessions.

  9. @Ian Elliott – Happy New Year! The floor is exactly the same as in quite a few of the TR7/Boxer photos so I would hazard a guess it was a set up at Solihull in the days of BL Styling Services or before that maybe. One of the stories I had about the Triumph Lynx styling saga involved Bache hiding a model behind a curtain because – allegedly – it was better than his. So it was nearly curtains for the winning design (sorry) and there were curtains somewhere in the Rover Triumph Styling set up!

    @ian – yes I am not surprised; I think that Spen was not alone but David Bache was determined.

    @Roderick – I have great respect for DB but as with most studio heads he was as good as the people in his studio and he was not the originator of the SD1 style; the donkey work was by others, albeit under his direction and inspiration. Furthermore, the process of translating a style to an engineering prototype was often fraught with problems; look at what happened to the Allegro!

  10. Not a bad looker at all. To me it also has a hint of early 1980’s VW Passat 5 door hatch… particularly the shape of the front wings

  11. @David Knowles Would you know if this Triumph Lynx saloon was a real styling proposal? I can only find 1 picture of it on the www and no further mention. Or is this some photoshop??

  12. @roderick

    Hi – there was never a Triumph Lynx saloon like that as far as I am aware. The Triumph saloon projects were the Puma and Bobcat but they also came up with other Dolomite replacement ideas including one that in my opinion looked like a SAAB – ironic when you think where the slant four engine went! Rover and Triumph were squashed together in 1972 and David Bache was swiftly in charge, especially when Les Moore retired. The big RT project was obviously what morphed from RT1 to SD1, but the SD2 came along behind it. The intention was that SD2 would follow on from TR7 and SD1 and there was a lot of typical vacillation on engines.

  13. ….what also came about briefly was the Bravo Project which was something of a last gasp Product Planning marriage of TR7 and SD1 building blocks, intended to create a replacement for the SD1. But that’s another story and I am pretty sure that Keith has covered it on the site.

  14. A shame this didn’t replace the Dolomite, but it seemed by the late seventies British Leyland wanted to ditch the Triumph brand as the big Triumphs had been replaced by Rovers and the Dolomite was left to wither on the vine until Canley was closed. Also the SD2 could have caused internal competition with Austin Morris products and annoyed the people at Cowley and Longbridge, whose smaller cars could have been squeezed out by the SD2. However, the decision to run down Triumph and concentrate on the M models killed off what could have been a very good car.

  15. A good looking car, far more so than the ungainly SD2 prototype and a crime that it was never built. Quite a few styling echoes of 80s BMWs from the side in there particularly the kink on the C pillar.

  16. @406V6 That kink also reminds me a lot of Michelotti’s facelift proposal for the Dolomite (as do the ventilation ‘stripes’ in that pillar). Would this therefore be the Michelotti proposal??

  17. @ 406 V6, British Leyland lost interest in Triumph after the launch of the TR7, which was less than a success in its first few years. It’s a shame as the marque’s saloon cars had a good reputation for reliability( more so than Austin Morris), were well made, good to drive and looked good, but the emphasis on an upmarket brand was switching to Rover by this time and British Leyland’s mid range was cluttered. Already in 1977 British Leyland was considering making Canley, the home of Triumph, into an engine plant, which would have meant the end of mass produced Triumphs, and Speke was to close the following year.

  18. I think the Sprint wheels are a red herring – long nose, pointing stance, glase house – surely this is a baby Princess?

  19. That is one good looking car! I only wish you could buy a current model with such simple, functional elegance. It’s a fusion of 1980’s Lancia Delta and Alfa 33 design cues. How the company ignored this and instead persevered with the lumpen and ugly SD2 is utterly beyond comprehension. Yet another example of an AR “might have been” car.

  20. Oh look, it’s the FSO Polonez… Which isn’t entirely a bad thing since I liked the look of them when they came out… I wonder if there’s any left?
    Oddly enough it looks quite futuristic, since bar the bug eyed headlights and lack of panel curves it could be a 2000-2005 Hyundai Accent,at least from this angle.
    I think this is better than the SD2 mentioned earlier on here. That very much looked like a hatchback Plymouth Reliant just like the Rover 200 looked like a Chrysler K-car that just sat on a fire ants nest stark naked..
    Theres shades of the Horizon based Shelby Charger too.. Oh for this and the 147HP 2.2 Turbo IV engine..

  21. The SD2 looks to me like the car which came to fruition ( although it was a functional disaster ) as the Maserati Biturbo . Very good looking, and what a pity it never materialised as a Triumph badged commercial product

    • Just imagine if a production version received a turbocharged version of the Triumph Slant-4 engine together with similar developments as the related Saab Slant-4 units.

  22. Now you mention it it does look like the biturbo. There is a saying in aircraft design “if it looks right, it’ll fly right” which in alot of cases proved true (the flying disaster areas that were the Me210 and the DB606 are good examples of the rule.
    BLs version seems to have been “if it looks right, and it’ll sell, we’ll can it. They shot themselves in the foot so many times it’s a wonder the management team weren’t all in wheelchairs..

  23. I dug out my notes; in September 1973 there was a report on the viewing; it seems there was, as I thought, at least two – Rover-Triumph Styling and Pininfarina, but there was reference to wanting Ital Design to be considered for future work. There was also some discussion about the Pininfarina style being worth considering for ADO77; this was obviously before TM1 came about.

  24. Looks very Italdesign. Very Smart. What’s the betting there’s quad lights at the front? But round or square…?

    Never understood how David Bache could come up with such cracking designs right to SD1, stuff that not only looked good but had functional logic to it, but then there’s that SD2 horror and the mess of the Montego.

  25. David Bache was a lucky man with SD1 – the brief was to look at Italian styling and hitting on the Ferrari Daytona was a work of genius. But it wasn’t Bache’s pen which actually drafted the end result; some elements he picked up on such as the side flutes which you will also see on the later Lynx, Maestro and by default the Montego (even though the latter went through a sort of finesse under Roy Axe). But David Bache also had some more outré tastes like Portholes (Lincoln Continental ca 1971?) and similar peccadilloes. Mind you he was hardly the only studio chief to hog the limelight because his neck was on the block if it went wrong. As, of course, eventually it did.

  26. Good looking car, almost Alfa Romeo like in execution.

    However I do like the ‘In-house’ SD2, as a Triumph BX.

    How did we get from good looking cars like this, to the somewhat frumpy Maestro? Trying to ape the Golf but it just didn’t work out.

  27. Not bad, a bit boxy but then the rival 3 series and Alfas of that time were boxy too. Better than the horrible in house SD2.

    “You can read the full story here, and learn why it was replaced by the TM1 programme briefly before being passed over by the rather more sensible Maestro and Montego brothers.”

    Massively disagree with this Keith! BMW made their fortune from selling the 3 series in exactly this class, a RWD saloon with a premium badge. It’s taken 40 years for a a competitive British rival, the Jaguar XE.

    And even in the fleet market, FWD only really took off in the early 80s.

    • The 3 series may have been something of the right product at the right time, especially the E30 appearing during the 1980s ‘loads-a-money’ boom, the Sierra scaring off conservative saloon buyers who also distrusted the FWD Cavalier, E36 grew up a little and really focused on fleets and business specials, 316is and later 320ds (especially E46 onwards), favourable PCP rates and getting emissions right for taxes.

      Rover just never had the right image, and it has taken Jaguar until now to get that ‘image’ with the XE.

      • Triumph had the image though, certainly with the Dolomite Sprint rather than the pensioner 1300 models! The Montego by contrast had no image or “desirability” whatsoever

        Triumph to me was more sporty than Rover, but more upmarket than MG.

  28. This looks like the pinifarina design – it has several fiat design traits especially those rear ail lights. The michelotti design only was made as a scale model – I have a picture in a Triumph special in one of my old Classic Car mags (late 90s I think).

  29. Certainly the Michelotti Triumph 1500 replacement would’ve freshened the car up for the 1980s, looking like a cross between an Fiat 131, Alfa Romeo Alfetta, Peugeot 305 and a BMW E21/E30 style window kink.

  30. Looks more like a Leyland P82 sedan prototype to me, one of a range of smaller vehicles to be sold alongside the P76 and Force 7V range. I believe one of these prototype vehicles was sent to the UK following the closure of the Zetland (Sydney) plant in late 1974.

  31. The Michelotti P82 designs were simply sensational. With a 100″ wheelbase for the saloons and similar suspension to TR7 /SD2, how was it possible for these [& ADO 77] to have been pursued as completely separate projects at the same time?

    Then again, despite the baseless conspiracy theories to the contrary, the real mystery of the P76/ SD1 story is why they WERE NOT based on a common platform as part of a combined program, given all but identical wheelbase/ tracks and very similar suspension systems front and rear.

    The Spen King interview on this site suggests he preferred a compact to a “big and impressive” solution which would fit with this being the Pininfarina SD2 design that he liked.

    I don’t think this car is P82 based – the bonnet line looks too low to accommodate the 2.6 litre E Series installed longitudinally. Both Michelotti and Cassarchis versions of P82 have bluffer front ends, presumably for this reason.

  32. Very Alfa, and just the sort of car that could have sat alongside a neat modular range of Michelotti styled Triumph Sports cars.

    One wonders though, if something was getting into the water at British Leyland that made them lose all sense style so they signed off the Maxi, Mini Clubman, Marina, Allegro, Princess, TR7, Maestro and Montego all of which were let down in the market by their styling.

    Even the SD1, which although it looked good (let’s be honest because it look a lot from the Daytona) was a hatchback in a market that did not want a hatchback.

    • Yes, the BL styling at the time was terrible, though disagree about the Marina, which to me looked pretty decent. Indeed, that was its best feature 🙂

      • I think the Marina could only be said to be “ok” at the tiime the Avenger and Escort were seen as smarter and more in fashion even though they both reached the market earlier.

        But whilst unlike the Allegro I doubt it put many people off, but I doubt it also won it many sales and although it was aimed at a conservative part of the market, it was intended to win new customers, because BMC had already died a slow death in the fleet market in the 60s with the Moggy etc against Ford Cortina and so it needed to be better than just “ok”.

  33. The P82 prototype that went to the UK after the plant closure here in late 1974 was an engineering prototype clothed in a modified Marina bodyshell. So this is definitely not it!

  34. So in the end all Triumph got was the Acclaim, a poorly badge engineered Honda built at Cowley. But in a strange way perhaps a landmark car for BL at the time, as it ushered in the new Honda/Rover relationship that was to ‘save’ the company. Not a bad role for a car and maybe fitting for the last Triumph..

  35. I Can’t help thinking that this looks also very similar to the Daf P900 prototype from around the same era.. A car that eventualy evolved into the Volvo 345

    http://s256.photobucket.com/user/T613-4/media/IMAG0007.gif.html

    AFAIK the Daf P900 proto was a design by Michelotti so I’m asuming this proto was also designed by Michelotti (the Triumph Dolomite also looks a lot like a 4 door version of the Daf 66 for example, eventhough technicly they’re both completely different cars…)

  36. When they had designs like this right under their nose it really does beggar belief that someone ended up signing off the Maestro/Montego!

  37. Although I guess this happened on Harold Musgroves watch. A case study in what happens when an uneducated semi-literate bully boy is allowed to rise through the ranks…..

  38. That could be mistaken any day of the week for a Maserati Biturbo, especially the boot profile.

    It’s such a shame that this car never got produced. Without a shadow of a doubt that would be the car that I’d be driving right now, regardless of how much of a quality product it was at the time it was made.

  39. @Paul: One factor which tends to get less attention than it should when discussing the look of the Maestro is the car’s packaging. In the pre-Roy Axe era, Engineering would develop the vehicle package and hand it over to Styling without any opportunity for the latter to have any input or suggest changes. In the case of the Maestro, this resulted in a highly space efficient car but one was relatively flat-sided, with limited curvature to the side glazing and not much scope to add it to the lower door pressings either. The exceptional depth of the glazing, whilst great for visibility and a sense of space, also contributed to the rather ‘gawky’ look, an effect not helped by the car’s excessive ground clearance. All of these issues were inevitably carried forward to Montego. If you look at Harris Mann’s alternative Maestro proposal, it’s scarcely any more successful in overcoming the problems imposed by this very rigid package.

    As is well documented on this site and elsewhere, Harold Musgrove can hardly be considered a fan of David Bache or his ideas for Maestro and Montego.

    • Unfortunately, when Styling is given free reign (as happens today), we end up with the same old problems caused by them: Rear door drop glass that you can’t open fully because it goes through the rear tyre: Rear headers that mean grown ups can’t sit in the back: Mirrors that you can’t see out of: Wheelarchs that are so tight to the wheel that the turning circle is far to big: Trunks that can’t take large cases: Bonnet lines that reduce air flow and need large, heavy, cooling packs to compensate: and my particular favourite, front seats that have to slide back so far that rear occupant knees are in serious danger!

  40. This is such a smart looking car and a shame it never made it to production.

    But had the plans for the SD2 come to reality, we have to remember it would have been engineered with very limited resources and built at Speke so it would no doubt have suffered the same reliability, quality and productivity issues the TR7 had.

    • SD2, if it had gone ahead, would probably have gone into Solihull alongside SD1. The alternative was to have gone into Cowley North Works to replace Maxi.

      Canley, in this time frame, was far to small to be viable, antiquated, and land-locked. It would have closed regardless.

  41. @ Graham: The focus on achieving – and ability to deliver – the maximum internal space for the minimum external dimensions certainly seems to have been a key Issigonis legacy to the volume cars business which management was keen to exploit as its ‘USP’ in the mid-70s, as the Metro programme also testifies.

    @ Kev: There’s certainly a case to be made that our contemporary obsession with style (and brand) over practicality has gone too far, for which look no further than our love of alloys the size of tractor wheels! Most manufacturers would probably defend themselves by saying they are simply trying to respond to what the customer wants… The issue with highly rational, space-efficient packages like the one developed for Maestro is that that they inevitably result in the need to accept compromises elsewhere. Harold Musgrove may have wanted Maestro to be a car that reminded him of a girlfriend, but regardless of who penned the winning style, the end product was always going to carry more than a hint of his grandmother…

  42. @Kev

    I agree that Canley if it had a future it was as an engine plant, another line at Solihull might had been a possibility, but with Toledo being built in Speke and clear Government pressure to keep that factory open it would have been its logical home.

    Cowley would in the original plan not have been on the cards as the SD2 was a product of the then separate Premium part of the business (Jaguar, Rover and Triumph) and so would have been scheduled for one of their plants Solihull / Speke, Cowley would only have come in the equation as a result of the Ryder plan merging the two parts of the business.

    • By the late 70’s there was a revised plan that was not openly discussed. This revolved around the closure of Canley, Solihull, and Browns Lane. Longbridge was to be the ‘volume car’ plant, and Cowley the ‘prestige car’ plant. Land Rover would have moved to Cowley South Works, and Jaguar/Rover to Cowley North Works. Linked to this was the moving of all engineering and styling to Gaydon. It was recognised that a huge rationalisation was needed in the company. The scheme was started – the acquisition of Gaydon – but never seen through. The only product action was Bounty at Cowley. As you can imagine, the Labour government wasn’t keen on the idea with so many Labour MPs in the West Midlands at that time.

  43. @Kev

    Yes I have heard about this plan to consolidate at Cowley and Longbridge, but that was a post Ryder plan of Edwards, this picture is I believe is from the period prior to the Ryder plan (which resulted in the SD2 being becoming a joint Triumph / Morris as the TM1) when Jaguar, Rover and Triumph existed as a separate Premium group, this is why I think plan A would have been for it to replace the Toledo at Speke, because there were no plans to close it then and it would have been the logical place to put it at those “optimistic” times.

    What it does show however is just how far in a period of little more than five years when the SD2 styling options were being considered to the Edward’s post Ryder consolidation plans how far British Leyland had fallen.

    However by the late 70’s was not the TM1 withered on the vine after the LC10/11 was kicked off in 1975 and subsequently prioritised by Edwards?

    • JRT didn’t come about until 1978 (if memory serves!), in Edwardes’ era. The SD2 predates this. The reality is that SD2 met the same fate as ADO77. So much money was squandered on SD1, that there was simply not enough left to pay for either program. This of course, ignores the fact that SD2 was another white elephant like SD1. The product was incapable of generating the volume sales required to compete with Ford and GM in the market – and this was what was killing the company. With the death of ADO77, this last hope disappeared. We were then left to soldier on with ADO73.

      Edwardes didn’t prioritise LC10/11. His priority was LC8. LC10/11 were actually delayed for LC8. His vision was to rebuild the range from the bottom up. Sadly, small car = small prices = small profit. We just never sold enough of them.

      Speke was finished by the mid 70’s, and was never a serious option. We couldn’t get out of the place fast enough. It was an absolute money pit.

  44. @Kev

    I am sorry you appear misunderstanding what I have written.

    The Car divisions at the start of British Leyland were formed where split between on the one hand Jaguar which retained a lot of independence along with Rover and Triumph which existed in a state of semi independence and the Austin Morris division (which much to their annoyance included MG) which was a continuation of the BMC structure, they were consolidate as part of the Ryder plan and then separated again under Edwards.

    The SD2 started as a project for a new Triumph to sell alongside the SD1, as Cowley was a Austin Morris Division factory it would never have been considered for Cowley until it became the TM1 as part of the Ryder plan.

    Speke may well have been finished by the mid 70’s (what part of Leyland was not other than the Range Rover and XJ6/12, the qualities of which were good enough to survive BL), but the SD2 was started in 69 and this picture probably around 72 when they were signing off the styling. Speke was to receive the TR7 in the mid 70’s and had the SD2 been pushed to production as part of the Ryder plan (which committed to keep the factories open) it’s hard to imagine it really going anywhere else just as it’s hard to imagine it would not also have been deeply compromised like the TR7 / SD1 by lack of development and poor build quality.

    In principal you are right the potential sales volume was insufficient to compete with Ford/GM but of course that was true of any Leyland vehicle after the failure of the Allegro meant the final death of the European Dealer networks. But of course at the same time the same could have been said about BMW compact cars which pitched themselves into the European market into the same place as Triumph has which was a notch above Ford and Opel, so the strategy was not wrong, just the inability to recognise that they could not live up to the strategy.

    Whilst Edwards prioritised the Metro LC8 ahead of the LC10/11, because he recognised he needed new metal into the show room and LC8 was only product anywhere near production at the time he arrived, he however a so pushed the LC10/11 ahead of anything else so killing the TM1 (which had in effectively replaced the ADO77 with the SD2 because it was more advanced of the two designs) off for good.

  45. Hi Fellow enthusiasts. I agree with Philip West. I am quite sure this is a Michelotti P82 “short nose” Saloon which was the last new project that the Leyland Australia engineers worked on. It was to cover a base ‘compact” 1300 injected A Series coupe, a mid range 1750 E4 and E6 (rear wheel drive north south engine), a panel van, mid size sedan as shown, a Long nose Sedan with 3.3 alloy V6 based on a cut down 4.4 p76 alloy v8 and in a top of the line coupe, with a long nose for the E6, v6 and it was planned to shoe horn the Big v8 engine which was necessitated the fitment of an electric thermo cooling fan. The suspension was a shortened P76 McPherson strut,a high mounted set of steering levers,for safety and a 3 link coil rear end with a Panhard rod. From the styling pics I have seen of the long nose P82 variants, the door handles and front indicator lights and tail lights are the same as this photo.There was a full P82 Status report with all the specifications that were sent to BL UK and Barry Anderson who wrote the report and was the senior product Advanced model group engineer. There is a detailed information on this model in a book named P76 the inside story written by the BMC Leyland Australia Heritage group isbn number 9780994155801

  46. I’m not a huge fan of the proposal. It looks better then the SD2 but that’s not exactly hard. would it have sold enough? Possibly but looking at the shambles of the SD1 it’s unlikely this would have done any better.

    A lot on here still debating wither money should have gone to produce a new Triumph (SD2) or a new Austin/Morris (Montego/Maestro).

    I stick with my opinion that neither was the answer and the focus should have been on getting their existing cars right. So that would mean

    – new clothes for the dolomite
    – sorted front suspension, 1500 and 1750 E series engines for the marina
    – restyle Maxi and give it a saloon version, fix the gear change
    – The allegro 3 suspension set up, engine set up and lay out, preferably with a hatch back at launch
    – The princess with a hatchback and notchback (and estate) and five gears.
    -the SD1 with a saloon body and an estate and using the E6 engines.
    – a 2 litre version of the Mariana, the princess, the SD1. AT LAUNCH I don’t care if it was a 2 litre B, a 2litre E6, a dolomite slant 4 just as long as there was one to pitch against similar engines in the ford Vauxhall and VW offerings.
    – The A+ engine upgrade could have happened years earlier instead of flushing money down the drain of H engines

    Instead there was this sense that everything BL did was hopeless and had to be thrown away and replaced at a huge cost which they could not afford. This led to a sense of paralysis.

    • – The Dolomite itself was an aging design only slightly more modern then the existing Marina that should have been replaced by the early/mid-70s either by Bobcat or SD2
      – Agree with sorting the Marina’s front suspension along with featuring E-Series (and a 2-litre B/O-Series) and being a shade larger from the outset (aka Cortina III size)
      – Prefer the Aquila though perhaps Michelotti could have salvaged the Maxi, agree with fixing the gearbox
      – Would also have the Allegro with Scimitar GTE / Kadett C front and Downton-tuned 1750cc Equipe variant
      – Agree along with the Princess featuring 2.4-litre E6, 2-litre Turbo O-Series and diesel/turbodiesel variants.
      – Largely agree though would argue the SD1 should have featured a properly developed 2-litre E6 producing roughly the same power as the 2.3-litre SD1-Six instead of a 2-litre 4-cylinder
      – Agree regarding earlier introduction of 2-litre models

      While also believing the A+ should have appeared much earlier. It would have been interesting seeing the A-Series evolve in a similar manner to the B-Series evolving into the O/M/T-Series including: alloy head, lightweight alloy-block, SOHC / DOHC, 7/8-Port Head, Cam-Belt / Belt Camshaft drives, 5-bearing crankshaft, common 70.64mm bore (for 970-1275cc) and dieselized / turbodiesel 1275cc variants (for small cars as opposed to tractors), etc along with an overall thorough redesign akin to Nissan’s own distantly related E and A engines.

      One could argue the above would justify developing an entirely new engine (little different to other attempts to replace the A-Series) yet that did not prevent the O/M/T-Series and Perkins Prima / etc from being distantly related to the B-Series, so it is strange why the A-Series never merited following a similar evolution.

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