Rover SD1 (1976-1986)
When it was launched in June 1976, the Rover SD1, was a very bold step forward by Rover standards. Gone was the Auntie Rover image and in its place was a new low drag sporty hatchback.
Inspired by the Ferrari Daytona, designed by Director of styling David Bache, the 3500, with its 155 BHP V8 engine, showed great promise. Initially very successful, but after a while things started to go wrong, such as paint problems, water leaks, rust, and poor reliability.
The Rover won the coveted European Car of the Year award in 1977.
1982 brought the launch of the Series 2 models, with revised trim levels and body updates, now with most of the problems with paint and reliability behind it, as well as new models being introduced, sales improved.
Last in the range was the Vitesse and production ceased in October 1986. In all about 300,000 SD1s were produced.