Rover 800 Mark I und Mark II

ROVER  800  and  Sterling

ROVER and Honda jointly develop

1986 - 1999

The picture shows a ROVER 800 Mark I and a ROVER 800 Mark II. The radiator grilles are reminiscent of the ROVER SD1 and the ROVER P5 respectively.


The ROVER SD1 is considered the
last 'true' ROVER.


The successor can only partially replace the luxury class car:
ROVER 'Seventy Five'.

General information about the 800 series

The ROVER "800" was launched in 1986 as the successor of the "SD1" series. It was developed in close cooperation with Honda, who call their offshoot "Legend". Internally, the development of the Rover ran under the code "XX", the Honda ran under "HX". Both roll off the production line at the former Morris plant in Cowley.

In the USA Rover offers the car exclusively with the V6 engine under the model name "Sterling" through its distributor ARCONA. They even use your own logo. The success is very small.

At first, the car is only available as a four-seater limousine. The basic version "820" has the 2.0-litre 16-valve four-cylinder "M" engine from Rover, developed from the well-known "O" engine series from British Leyland. The top models "825" are equipped with the six-cylinder V-engine designed by Honda.

At the time of the presentation, only 1,000 vehicles were produced, all in silver metallic. This means that not all 1,400 retailers can be supplied. Production is six months behind schedule and now potential customers are also frustrated.

The production quality was desirable at the start of production. Problems with the electrics, the paintwork and the fitting inaccuracies, especially in the decorative trims, put a strain on the car's reputation, especially as corrosion problems were still a problem. Even the very luxurious interior did not overlook this. With the "820" there are also problems with the Injection system from Lucas, the "825" is considered to have low torque.

Strangely, in the USA, the "Sterling" was able to achieve a bad image, while the Honda, which is produced on the same line, - named "Acura" in the USA - was at the top of the satisfaction scale in the first year of sales (J.D.Powers satisfaction study).

Honda's 2.7-litre V6 was introduced in 1988, the top models are now called "827". The new machine cleaned up several weak points of the 2.5-litre machine. With the 2.7-litre engine, the torque curve is now flatter and more power is available.

The simultaneously introduced economy version of the "800", which was equipped with the 8-valve four-cylinder of the "O" series, disappeared quickly from the market, as it did not perform well.

1990 a version with diesel engine follows. This is the 2.5 litre four-cylinder diesel engine with 2,498 cc, which is available from VM Motori in Italy and can also be found in some other vehicles.

Plans for a comprehensive facelift, known as "Project R17", were already being drawn up during this period. The reworking suffers from the fact that no changes may be made to the passenger cell and doors. Nevertheless, ROVER succeeded in creating a completely new vehicle, which we describe in detail under ROVER "800 Mark II".

1986 - 1991 ROVER 800 Mark I Series

The ROVER 800, developed together with Honda, has a strict stylistic effect. Its front should remind of the form of the predecessor SD1, but also reminds of the AUSTIN-ROVER Montego. All in all a stylishly designed car.

Read more about the ⇒ Rover 800 Mark I Series

1987 - 1991 ROVER Sterling - for Northern America

In the North American states - USA and Canada - the Rover 800 was offered under the brand name "Sterling". Unfortunately, it was not well received by the US press.

Read more about the ⇒ Rover 800 Sterling (Northern America)

1991 - 1999 ROVER 800 II Series

The second edition of the ROVER 800 series is much rounder. The front is more in keeping with the traditional cooler designs of the P4 and P5 series. The lines, especially the five-door Vitesse versions, look pleasing and correspond to the style of the time without alienating conservative buyers.

Read more about the ⇒ Rover 800 Mark II Series

1992 - 1999 ROVER 800 Coupé

The line with a shortened roof fits the car extremely well. As an opulently equipped Grand Tourisme it looks unobtrusive and comparatively discreet, with its clear lines a pleasure for the eye of the beholder.

Read more about the ⇒ Rover 800 Coupé

ROVER 800 with special bodies

The ROVER 800 is offered by various coachbuilders in extended versions. Different six-door versions and conversions into hearse cars are known.

Read more about the ⇒ Rover 800 with special bodies

Read more about the
of the 800 Series.
⇒ Together with Honda

AUSTIN-ROVER Company of Northern America

Production Years Overview
800 Mark IXXXXXX        
800 MkII Limousinen     XXXXXXXXX
800 MkII Coupés      XXXXXXXX

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