Austin-Healey Sprite Mark II
|1961 to 1964|
|Production||1961–64 31,665 made|
|Body and chassis|
|Related||MG Midget MkI|
|Engine||948 cc (0.9 L) later 1,098 cc (1.1 L) A-Series I4|
|Wheelbase||2,032 mm (80.0 in)|
|Length||3,305 mm (130.1 in)|
|Width||1,346 mm (53.0 in)|
|Height||48.25 in (1,226 mm) (with hood up)|
The Mark II used the same 948 cc engine (engine code 9CG) but with larger twin 1¼ inch SU carburettors increasing power to 46.5 bhp and a close-ratio gearbox. The bodywork was completely revamped, with the headlights migrating to a more conventional position in the wings, either side of a full-width grille. At the rear, styling borrowed from the soon-to-be-announced MGB gave a similarly more modern look, with the added advantages of an opening boot lid and conventional rear bumper bar. The result was a much less eccentric-looking sports car, though at the expense of some 100 lbs extra weight. In contrast to the 'frogeye', the later cars are often collectively referred to as square-bodied Sprites by enthusiasts.
An MG version of the car was introduced in May 1961 as, 'the new Midget,' reviving a model name which had been a great success for the MG Car Company in the 1930s. The Midget was to prove more popular with the public than the Sprite and by 1972 had completely supplanted it within the BMC range. In October 1962 both Sprites and Midgets were given a long-stroke 1098 cc engine (engine code 10CG), which was also fitted in single carburettor form to the Austin A40 and Morris Minor 1000 (which nevertheless remained the Minor 1000). A strengthened gearbox with Porsche (baulk-ring) synchromesh was introduced to cope with the extra power - a heady 56 bhp. Front disc brakes were also introduced at the same time and wire wheels became an option.
Innocenti also produced their own version of the Sprite, using the standard production underframe (initially shipped out from England), but clothed in the sharpest of Italian suits, styled by the American Tom Tjaarda, then working at Carrozzeria Ghia. The Innocenti 950 Spider and later 1100 Spider were produced from 1961 until 1968.
A car with hardtop tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1961 had a top speed of 85.8 mph (138.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 20.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 43.5 miles per imperial gallon (6.49 L/100 km; 36.2 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car, which was to de-luxe specification cost £705 including taxes of £208.
- 1961–64: 948 cc A-Series I4, 46 hp (34 kW) at 5500 rpm and 53 lbf·ft (72 Nm) at 3000 rpm
- 1962–64: 1098 cc A-Series I4, 56 hp (42 kW) at 5500 rpm and 62 lbf·ft (84 Nm) at 3250 rpm