This week we’re calling for the return of a quintessentially British car. We turn back the clock to 2004 and say ‘Bring Back the Rover 75 Tourer’.
What was it?
When Rover’s 75 launched in 1999 it brought with it a return to traditional Rover values – acres of wood, lashings of leather and a wonderfully cossetting ride. The saloon was met with warm praise upon launch but Rover felt the 75 could do more and following BMW’s sale of the Rover Group the new company, MG Rover, launched an estate, christened the Rover 75 Tourer.
When was it on sale?
The 75 Tourer arrived in 2001, as well as an MG counterpart, the MG ZT-T. Sadly, the 75 Tourer would only be in production for just four years as MG Rover collapsed in 2005. Rover’s assets, including the production rights for the 75 were taken to China where the saloon returned to production, becoming the Roewe 750 and the MG7. The Estate didn’t make the journey to the People’s Republic.
Why was it so good?
It looked good, with a front end that was reminiscent of previous Rovers, such as the P6 and the extended platform was smartly styled. It boasted plenty of load space and some clever ideas such as a tailgate that allowed access by opening the rear windscreen, as well as the entire hatch, to stow and retrieve items. Diesel power came from a BMW-sourced 2.0 litre engine that developed upto 220ft lbs of torque.
Will we see it again?
At the moment it looks highly unlikely – the Rover brand currently resides with Jaguar Land Rover, who purchased the name from Ford to protect the Land Rover brand. Despite some mumurings in the enthusiast’s community, JLR currently have no plans to revive the brand.