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Rover CityRover
2004 Rover CityRover.jpg
Manufacturer MG Rover
Production 2003–2006
Assembly Pune, Maharashtra, India
Predecessor Rover Metro
Class Supermini
Body style(s) 5-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Engine(s) 1.4 L I4 (petrol)
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length 3,703 mm (145.8 in)
Width 1,924 mm (75.7 in)
Height 1,500 mm (59.1 in)
Kerb weight 1,040 kg (2,293 lb)
Related Tata Indica
Tata Indigo
Designer I.DE.A Institute[1]

The Rover CityRover is a supermini car marketed by the British manufacturer MG Rover under the Rover marque, between 2003 and 2005. Launched in the autumn of 2003, the car was a rebadged version of the Indian-developed Tata Indica.[2] Its interior space and performance were considered good for a small car in contemporary road tests, but its lack of quality, below par road handling and high price were not well received.[3]

According to car reviewer Parker's, the CityRover was the worst-rated Rover car from MG Rover, with a rating of 2 out of 5.[4]

Technical detailsEdit

The CityRover was offered with only one engine: a Peugeot derived 1,405 cc (1.4 L) 4-cylinder, 8 valve engine producing 85 bhp (63 kW/86 PS) and 88 lb·ft (119 N·m).[5] It could accelerate to 60 mph in 11.9 seconds and had a top speed of 100 mph (160.9 km/h).[6] It could manage up to 46.6 mpg.

The CityRover was manufactured by Tata Motors at their Pune factory in India.[7] Alterations for the British market included new bumpers, Rover badge grille, 14" wheels and new suspension settings.[8]

SafetyEdit

The high driving position and large glass area affords drivers with good all-round visibility, while the rear lamps are mounted high up on the structure so other road users can see them more prominently. Doors are fitted with anti-intrusion bars with child locks at the rear; the steering column is collapsible and a driver airbag is fitted as standard to all models, with a passenger airbag standard on the top trim level and available as an option on the entry the mid-range trims. All seats have anti-submarine ramps and 3-point seatbelts, with the front getting belt pre-tensioners and height-adjustable head restraints. ABS is included on Style models.[9]

CriticismEdit

MG Rover was reported to be paying Tata £3,000 for each car and, despite each model featuring a Rover corporate nose and revised suspension settings, the buying public was not impressed by the £6,495 starting price.[10]

In early 2004, Rover refused to lend a CityRover to motoring-show Top Gear to test it. In order to answer the question of "just how bad could it be?" James May went undercover and test drove one at a dealer while carrying a hidden camera.[10]

In the summer of 2004, just one year after the CityRover's launch, MG Rover announced plans to replace it with an all-new model within two years. Rumours of a sporty MG variant also appeared in the motoring press.

Sales were well short of MG Rover's targets, so the CityRover was given an upgrade for the 2005 model year, with more standard equipment. Prices were reduced by £900, confirming that the car's previous prices had not been competitive.[11]

Along with the rest of the MG Rover range, production of the CityRover ended in April 2005 when the company went into receivership, the last vehicles brought into the UK being purchased and sold on by Motorpoint, a non-franchised discount dealer group.

AchievementsEdit

Despite the media criticism of the CityRover, one (the upgraded 2005 version) was chosen in 2006 to be used as the reconnaissance vehicle for the 2007 Himalayan Challenge Endurance Rally. With only minor modifications, the car was driven over the 7,000-mile (11,000 km) planned route from London to Delhi by University of Southampton students Chris Cardwell and Nick Clarke without any major problems, including crossing significant distances of desert and a number of mountain ranges. The reasons given by the event organisers for the choice of vehicle were that it is "the cheapest brand new car you can drive in Britain", and to prove that the route could be driven in an ordinary small car, without the need for a large four wheel drive vehicle. Following completion of the race, the car was shipped back to the UK and sold to a prospective competitor, with the intention of using it on the event in September 2007. To the contrary of what the Top Gear show stated, the City Rover has been widely praised by its owners in terms of reliability. Even ten years after the first ever City Rover in 2003, it is still listed in the top 100 most reliable cars on the reliability-index list.[12]

The end of productionEdit

The CityRover ceased production in April 2005, when Rover ceased trading and went into administration.

PreservationEdit

This car is unlikely to be consider a collectable classic, but an example is likely to appear in a museum collection eventually !!

Please add details if one is spotted in a museum or at a car show !!

ReferencesEdit

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  1. Aucock, Richard. "On test: Rover CityRover". MSN Motors. Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  2. Cheetham, Craig (December 2003). "Auto Express". CityRover Sprite 1.4i. Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  3. "Rover CityRover 1.4 Style review - living". Autocar. Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  4. http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/rover/ Parkers car reviews - Rover
  5. "Rover CityRover 1.4 Style review". Autocar (27 January 2004). Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  6. "Rover CityRover 1.4 Solo 5d – Facts and Figures". Parkers. Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  7. "Tata Motors rolls out first CityRover" (16 September 2003). Retrieved on 29 December 2011. 
  8. Hudson, Paul (3 January 2004). "Relax, it's a Rover". Retrieved on 29 December 2011. 
  9. http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/miscellaneous/2003-11/city-rover-goes-on-sale-from-gbp6495/
  10. 10.0 10.1 Marriage of convenience? Austin Rover Online
  11. "Rover to cut CityRover prices - What Car?". Whatcar.com (2004-12-21). Retrieved on 2009-05-10.[dead link]
  12. Young, Philip (2009). How to Build a Successful Low-Cost Rally Car. Veloce Publishing Ltd. 
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