Rover borrows from past to launch model that holds key to its future: Was It Worth The Wait?
Friday 18 June 1999
"This is the rebirth of Rover, the beginning of a new era for the company." If I had pounds 10 for every time a Rover executive had uttered those words I'd have enough money to mount a takeover bid for the firm.
"Crucial new model", "developed without compromise", "proof that Britain can build a world beater"... They were all there - the cliches, the rallying cries. Some things never change. But fortunately for Rover, some things do change, and the quality of the engineering is one of them.
The new 75 is an extremely competent car that deserves to sell well. It is classy, mature and genteel, and should appeal to people who want a quality car but not the Flash Harry badge that can go with it. If BMW is Versace and Audi is Hugo Boss, then the Rover 75 is Austin Reed or top-range M&S.
It is the first car developed since the BMW takeover of 1994, and is the first Rover for 20 years that is not just a rebodied, re-engineered Honda. It is aimed at the BMW 3-series and the Audi A4 (small, prestige cars, in other words) and the top-end tinselled Mondeos, Passats and Vectras. Mid-size Volvos and Saabs are also a target. The 75 is priced above Passats and Mondeos, in keeping with Rover's desire to be seen as a premium brand.
The ride is soft, and can be a bit floaty over undulating roads. Yet the handling is sharp, and the steering feels good.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...
£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This market leader in Medical Devices is...
£24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...