|Also called||Rover 100 (Europe)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback 5-door hatchback 2-door convertible|
|Engine||1.1 L K-series SPI 8V I4 1.4 SPI K-series 8/16V 1.4 MPI K-series 8/16V 1.4 L PSA/TUD3 diesel I4|
|Transmission||4/5-speed PSA manual|
|Wheelbase||88.6 in (2,250 mm)|
|Length||134.1 in (3,406 mm)|
|Width||61.6 in (1,565 mm)|
|Height||53.5 in (1,359 mm)|
|Curb weight||1,852lbs (840 kg)|
At the end of 1987, the Austin marque was shelved. The Austin badge was removed from the cars, which continued to be manufactured with no marque badge, just a model name badge. Rover management never allowed Rover badges on the Montego or the Maestro in their home market, although they were sometimes referred to as "Rovers" in the press and elsewhere. They wore badges that were the same shape as the Rover longship badge, but which did not say "Rover". The Metro did too until May 1990, when it was officially relaunched as the Rover Metro, heavily revised and fitted with a new range of engines.
The ageing 998 cc and 1275 cc A-Series engines - which had been in use since the late 1950s - gave way to the 1.1 (1113 cc 60 bhp (45 kW)) and 1.4 (1396 cc 76 bhp (57 kW)) K-Series 8 valve engines and a 16 valve engine in the GTi (early variants are 95 bhp (71 kW) SPi while the later MPi version has 103 bhp) and the early GTa. All models used Peugeot-designed end-on gearboxes. In 1993, a 1.4 PSA TUD diesel from the Citroën AX / Peugeot 106 was launched. The Hydragas suspension was finally modified to accept front to rear interconnection in the way that Alex Moulton so desperately wanted to bring the car back up to standard in terms of handling and ride quality.
A new bodyshell for the replacement car (the AR6 project) was designed, with styling influenced by Ital Design, that had some similarity to the acclaimed Giorgetto Giugiaro designed Fiat Punto launched in 1994 and the Peugeot 205 lower panels, with the blacked out pillars and 'floating roof' of the 1989 R8 Rover 200. But it was cancelled by Chairman Graham Day, because British Aerospace (the then new owners) refused to fund it, and the relative failure of the Austin Montego and Austin Maestro had not produced expected profits to re-invest. A mockup could be seen at the Canley, Coventry design centre in the 1990s during open days. It appeared as a 'Scoop' photo on the front cover of CAR magazine in the mid-1980s. Project R6, as it became known would be a more modest update of the 1980 car - the basic bodyshell was retained, but was improved with the addition of new plastic front and rear bumpers, new front wings, new rear lights and bootlid, new front headlamps and bonnet. The interior was altered with a new rounded instrument binnacle and instruments, new steering wheel, new seats (from the successful Rover 200 series), new door casings and other detail improvements. General build quality, fit and finish was improved enormously from the old Metro and went on to win What Car? "Car of The Year" in 1991.
In many export markets, including Italy and France, the Rover Metro was badged as the Rover 100 series, with the 1.1 known as the Rover 111 and the 1.4 called 114.
Latterly this car has attracted an enthusiastic following including use as a low-cost entry to motor racing. The basic just-over-100 bhp (70 kW) engine for the GTI can be boosted to over 130 hp (97 kW) at the flywheel. For ultimate performance the 1.8 K-series engine, with standard cams or VVC (Variable Valve Control) system can be fitted (these engines are found in the MGF and Lotus Elise sports cars, as well as various Rovers and MGs).