What they said:
Features Include V8 Engine, Sports Car Performance
and Handling, Luxurious Interior and Hatchback Utility.
The award-winning Rover 3500, a luxurious five-passenger, five door hatchback
sedan featuring sports car handling and performance, aerodynamic styling,
a fuel-injected aluminum V8 engine, a spacious luggage/cargo area and
advanced safety features has been introduced by Jaguar Rover Triumph Inc.
The new Rover went on sale April 25 1980, with a list price of $15,900
(POE). Air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, central door and
trunk locking and an adjustable steering wheel are among the standard
The Rover's power plant is a 3.5 liter (215 cu. in.) fuel injected aluminum
alloy V8 developing 148 SAE net horsepower. Zero to 60 MPH test track
acceleration figures for the new car are 10.0 seconds with standard five
speed manual transmission and 11.1 seconds with optional automatic shift.
Suspension and Steering.
A carefully engineered rear suspension with nine
inches of vertical travel provides true luxury car comfort. A Watts linkage,
which connects the axle to the car's frame on either side, prevents lateral
movement and assures flat, high speed cornering around the sharpest turns.
Unique loadleveling rear shock absorbers provide comfort and sure footed
handling regardless of the number of passengers or the weight of the cargo
being carried. MacPherson struts are used in the front suspension. Maneuverability
is further enhanced by the quick, 2.75 turns lock-to-lock, rack and pinion
power assisted steering.
The rear loadspace is over six feet in length with the rear seats folded
down and it provides over 34 cubic feet of space. The passenger seat can
be folded forward and down providing an extension of the flat cargo platform.
When the rear seats are up, the luggage compartment measures almost 12
cubic feet. The opened hatchback provides a generous 74 inches of headroom
for ease of loading.
Rover automobiles have always been noted for their safety features and
the 3500 continues that tradition. The new model's windshield uses specially
made Triplex Ten-Twenty laminated glass which breaks into small blunt
fragments on impact reducing the risk of facial injury by 99 per cent
relative to ordinary safety glass, according to Triplex. The Rover 3500
was the first car to use this new technology. Last year, Ten-Twenty won
the U.S. Department of Transportation's first award to a non U.S. product
for motoring safety.
Special compression struts in the new Rover's doors give the passenger
compartment a high degree of rigidity in collision situations and the
fuel tank is located ahead of the rear axle to isolate it from rear end
crash damage. An additional safety feature is the demisting system which
clears the front side windows as well as the windshield and rear hatch
window for maximum visibility.
Good aerodynamics were of utmost importance to the design team which styled
the Rover 3500 exterior and wind tunnel tests played an important role.
For instance, the air intake panelling under the front bumper acts as
a reverse airfoil, antilift air dam in the interest of low drag and high
speed stability. Front end and windshield slants were engineered to move
the center of air pressure well back for good straight line high speed
driving. The body is an all steel monocoque shell for minimum weight combined
with maximum strength. The Rover is built on a 110.8 in. wheelbase and
it measures 191 in. overall. Total rear and front overhang of 81 in. is
less than most imports and U.S. cars Rover's size class.
The Rover Engine.
The Rover's 3.5 liter V8 engine has a Lucas-Bosch electronic fuel injection
system with oxygen sensors in the exhaust down-pipes to automatically
adjust the fuel/air mixture for the lowest possible emissions. The engine
is sandcast with the block shotpeened for extra strength. Cast iron cylinder
liners are fitted following the casting operation. Ignition is electronic.
The engine has proven its durability in the Range Rover and special models
of the Land Rover utility vehicle and in previous Rover passenger cars.
The engine was considerably refined for use in the 3500 and it now has
a higher rev limit (6,000 RPM) and improved breathing thanks to advanced
design of the cylinder heads and manifolding.
The Rover 3500's five-speed manual transmission is unique in that it has
a built in oil pump to insure adequate lubrication even when the oil level
is below normal. It also uses tapered roller bearings for long life. The
rear axle ratio is a tall 3.08:1 and the fifth gear ratio is 0.833:1 for
maximum economy at freeway cruising speeds.
Regardless of where sold in the U.S., all Rover 3500s will have the longer
intervals between service now required in California. This calls for lubrication
and oil changes every 7,500 miles instead of the usual 6,000; the first
tune up at 15,000 miles instead of 12,000.
The Rover's steering wheel is adjustable for height, reach and tilt by
a single control. The front seats are adjustable and can be fully reclined.
In the rear is a contoured bench seat with both front and back seats upholstered
in luxurious nylon velour. Carpeting throughout, including the cargo and
luggage compartments, is moulded cutpile. All instruments and warning
lights are in a housing mounted on top of the dash directly ahead of the
driver for maximum visibility. The power side windows are operated by
switches located on the gear shift console. The rear windows can also
be operated by rear seat passengers using switches in the arm rests. These
switches can be overridden by a master switch on the instrument housing.
A master switch for locking or unlocking all five doors is located in
the driver's arm rests. Override rocker switches in the other three side
doors allow them to be locked or unlocked individually. The hatchback
can be opened by itself using the key in its external lock. Cruise control,
headlight/horn and windshield wiper/washer switches are incorporated in
steering column mounted stalks.