About the P6
The introduction of a new Rover car is always an event of considerable interest, perhaps because it occurs less frequently than in most other manufacturers. The recent announcement of the new Rover 2000 has even greater significance than ever because not only is the car entirely new, having no parts common to other Rover Models, but it spearheads Rover’s re-entry into the lighter car field, and a new factory has been built and equipped specially to produce it.
Possibly the most advanced feature of this car is the method of body construction. The body panels of the Rover 2000 are assembled around a base unit on to which all the chassis components, electrical equipment and ancillaries are first mounted. At this stage the vehicle is in skeleton form but mechanically complete. It is driven and tested. The individual panels, doors and roof are then attached to the structure as separate items.
All base units and body panels are carefully aligned and then jig drilled, allowing no possible variation in the location of attachment points. Consequently replacement of any panel damaged through accident is quick precise and perfectly straightforward.
The base unit construction of the Rover 2000 combines light weight and great strength. The box section steel bulkhead between the engine and passenger compartments is particularly robust and it is this rigid section that takes through coil springs, the stresses and reactions of the independent front suspension units.
A short remote control gear lever fits the hand naturally and encourages full use of the car’s four speed, all synchromesh gearbox.Power for the new Rover 2000 comes from an entirely new four cylinder engine of simple, robust, single overhead camshaft layout. An excellent power output of 90 bhp. (installed) is developed at 5,000 rpm. and this is combined with extreme economy of operation. At a steady 50 m.p.h. the Rover 2000 returns figures of 36 miles per gallon. The overhead camshaft design also gives the engine a wide range of speeds up to a maximum of 6,000 rpm. Cruising in the upper nineties is easily obtained.The front suspension is independent with the coil springs mounted horizontally. All the ball joints are sealed against entry of dust and water.
Rear suspension is of the de Dion type sliding tube, specially developed by Rover engineers for the 2000. It shares with the beam axle the advantage that the rear wheels always remain parallel, but not the disadvantage of excessive unsprung weight. It also possesses the smooth and stable ride of independent rear suspension without the disadvantage of wheel misalignment and consequent heavy tyre scrub.
To give effective stopping power, Dunlop disc brakes are fitted front and rear, mounted inboard at the rear. Servo assistance is provided for easy pedal operation.
The 2000 has been designed to run on radial-ply tyres with belted construction. They give higher cornering power, good speed capacity at one pressure setting and increased mileage.
In planning the driving compartment of the 2000, Rover designers have combined the practical with the aesthetic. The facia is finished in African Walnut grain and instruments are grouped in a single rectangular panel, clearly visible through the two-spoke steering wheel. All switches are placed in a row on the facia rail. They are recognisable by symbol, name, shape and movement. A wide, readily accessible shelf is suitable for gloves, lady’s handbag or any other item that requires a convenient resting place. Controls for the highly efficient heating system are centrally located and easily operated. Extra fresh air vents are set into the rail in front of the driver and passenger with an adjustable flap to direct cool air to any desired level and a control to regulate the quantity of air entering the car.
The Rover 2000 offers a high degree of comfort. At the rear, passengers sit in two well-formed individual seats designed specifically to ensure exceptional comfort and lateral support for fast touring. Side arm-rests on the doors and a folding centre arm-rest complete the easy-chair effect. When the centre arm-rest is folded up a padded portion between the seats affords accommodation for an occasional third person.
Front seats are also particularly designed for high-speed comfort and effective lateral support during the rapid cornering of which the car is capable. There is ample fore and aft adjustment for drivers of every stature, while the back-rests can be adjusted to and locked in any position from the vertical to the fully reclining.The steering wheel may be adjusted for rake to enable the driver to adopt the position that suits him best. The practical boot has a capacity of 161/4 cubic feet which gives room for a great many pieces of luggage.
The spare wheel is normally mounted vertically on the left-hand side, but may also be stowed flat on the floor. In this position there is room for four full sets of golf clubs and trolleys inside the boot. A further alternative provides for the mounting of the wheel on the outside of the boot lid ( an optional extra fitting), then the whole compartment is available for carrying a vast amount of luggage.
All this adds up to the fact that the elegant new ROVER 2000 is one of the safest and most interesting cars to be introduced for many years.
The Rover P6 Club wish to extend thanks to The Rover Group, MG Rover and B.M.I.H.T. for permission to use the text and photographs/pictures in this article which originally appeared in the October 1963 edition of Rover News, produced and published by the Publicity Department of The Rover Company Ltd.