So after a decade away is the time right for Rover’s return? It’s certainly true that the brand suffered during the 90s and 2000s, with small hatchbacks arguably eroding the brands core value – big, powerful, comfortable saloons. By the time the Rover 75 arrived at the dawn of the millennium, the damage was done and Rover’s key customers had moved to BMWs and Audis.
Today the Rover brand is owned by Jaguar Land Rover and what better company to bring the it back to a modern audience? With this in mind we call for the return of the Rover SD1!
The SD1 arrived in 1977 and brought Rover into an age of modernity, at least from a styling point of view. Mechanically it was simpler than the P6 that preceded it, losing the in-board rear brakes and the De Dion tube rear suspension. The highlight, as with most Rovers, was the 3.5 litre V8 petrol. VM Motori provided a diesel alternative but in truth it wasn’t really befitting of the Rover experience.
Fast forward to today, with JLR’s new Ingenium engine family about to come on stream in the new XE and there’s a ready-made engine option for the new car – infact JLR could even rework one of the existing Jaguar platforms to base the new car upon.
JLR know how to make a good looking car so there’s every chance a rakish, sporty fastback could be penned by the Midlands firm, one that evoked (no pun intended) memories of the SD1 without be kitsch or overtly retro like the Rover 75 was criticised for.
There are still plenty of Rover fans out there – the marque enjoys an enviable owners community and any return the brand made would be met with huge interest.
If anyone can make it work, JLR can…