2017 Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction
1999 Rover 800 5-Door Hatchback
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 2000cc|
This lot is no longer available
The result of an alliance between British Leyland and Japanese giant Honda, the 800 series Rover was a direct replacement for the long-lived SD1 model. Released in 1986, the front-wheel drive 800 was initially launched with either a Rover-made four-cylinder engine or Honda’s superb 2.5-litre V6. Sharing the platform with Honda’s new luxury Legend (branded as an Acura in North American markets), the 800 series also used their transmissions, while BL provided the electrics. Well-equipped across the range, the more luxurious models were badged the Sterling (sedan) or Vitesse (hatchback) in some countries, while Rover decided to relaunch its American operations using the Sterling moniker. A major facelift of the series, codenamed the R17, was carried out in 1991, with softer lines and the return of Rover’s traditional grille. Adding a stylish coupe to the model line-up, along with revamped engines and transmissions, saw the Rover 800 overcome sluggish initial sales to become the best-selling executive car in Britain in the early 1990s. One further update took place in 1996, with some minor exterior changes complemented by a host of additional luxury and safety features, including climate control, a passenger-side airbag, 6-disc CD changer, pleated seats and additional interior timber. The Honda V6 was replaced by Rover’s own KV6 engine while the fours had gained 16-valve technology and even the option of a turbocharger. Never officially sold in Australia, the 800 was finally phased out in 1999, replaced by the Rover 75.