Years of success

The ROVER / Honda Cooperation

1980s - 1994


It started under British Leyland as "badge-engineering" with the Triumph Acclaim, which was a Honda Ballade built under license in 1981. The only external difference: the logo on the radiator grille. Although completely un-British, the older audience in particular took a liking to the car. For BL a stroke of luck: the Acclaim caused the lowest warranty costs in company history. At the same time, it was the opposite pole to the unreliability of the other series of the increasingly ailing company.

Both British Leyland and Honda were satisfied with the result of this first cooperation. As early as November 1981, contracts were signed for two further projects. Firstly, they secured cooperation for the successor of Acclaim, which at Honda should become Civic and at BL - the car division now traded as Austin Rover - to ROVER "213/216".
Secondly, the project was launched for a car of Executive Class, from which the Honda Legend and ROVER 800 / Sterling were to emerge.

Since the collaboration worked well, Honda also participated in BL with 20%. Honda models for Europe were produced by BL - which made it possible to avoid the "voluntary" export restrictions for Japanese vehicles.
Soon further cooperation agreements were concluded: a joint project included the Honda Concerto alias ROVER 200 and 400 - as successor of ROVER 213/216. Another development was the Honda Accord alias ROVER 600, which was successful for both parties.

The cooperation ended abruptly in 1994, when BMW  took over the company now known as Rover Group.

Jaguar Rover Australia (JRA) also worked with Honda in the 1980s. The ROVER Quintet was a pure Honda Quint with Rover logo, built in Japan for JRA. It was replaced after three years by the ROVER 416i, which was a Honda Integra. The latter model would certainly have been very popular in Europe, as the 1980s were the age of folding headlights. It is a pity that this model could only be seen in Australia.

Note: The order of series corresponds to the order of market launch of the first model.

ROVER Quintet - for Australia only

ROVER Quintet 1983-85

The ROVER Quintet was offered in Australia from 1983 to 1985. It was a pure Honda with Rover logo, comparable in this respect to the Triumph Acclaim in the UK.

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⇒ ROVER Quintet for Australia

ROVER 200 Mark I and Mark II Series

ROVER 200 Mark I 1984-89

The ROVER Mark I were derivatives of the Honda Civic notchback model. The interior was heavily influenced by Rover. The subsequent Rover 200 Mark II largely corresponded to the Honda Conterto, which came off the same production line in England.

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⇒ ROVER 200 Mark I and Mark II Series

ROVER 416i - also for Australia only

ROVER 416i 1985-89

The ROVER 416i was built in Japan for Jaguar Rover Australia. At Honda the model was called Integra, in the USA Acura Integra. With its folding headlights it stands out - unfortunately only in Australia.

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⇒ ROVER 416i for Australia

ROVER 800 Mark I and Mark II Series

ROVER 800 Mark I

The ROVER 800 replaces the SD1, its front is supposed to remind of its predecessor. The Mark II is visually reminiscent of the P4 and P5 series and is somewhat rounder overall.

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⇒ ROVER 800 Mark I and Mark II Series

ROVER 400 Mark I Series

ROVER 400 Mark I

The ROVER 400 is developed from the 200 Mark II series, is initially launched as a five-door hatchback model and differs initially only in the engine version. Later, a classic saloon followed.

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⇒ ROVER 400 Mark I Series

ROVER 600 Series


The ROVER 600 remains limited to one body variant throughout the entire production period: classic four-door. It runs off the same production line as its brother Honda Accord.

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⇒ ROVER 600 Series

MG RV8 - developed without Honda genes


The MG RV8 with the ROVER 8-cylinder engine comes after a long break as a longed-for sports car model from the house of ROVER on the market. It is limited to 2000 units.

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⇒ MG RV8 Sports Roadster


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