Rover 2000

The Rover 2000 is very modern in concept and design, compact enough to allow easy motoring under present day conditions. The car offers drivers a rare degree of comfort, together with handling and performance close to sports car standards.

Although this is the first Rover designed for the younger generation, it has many virtues that strongly appeal to drivers of the old school. Its price, too, makes the 2000 one of the most competitive, luxurious 100 mph plus saloons in the world.

Modern Design

The four cylinder, five-bearing crankshaft engine is very up-to-date in design, with single chain-driven overhead camshaft operating vertical valves, which with single carburetter and 9 to 1 compression give 91 bhp net at 5.000 rpm. Drive to the rear wheels is through a diaphragm spring clutch and four speed all-synchromesh gearbox. New methods of chassis-body construction give great rigidity, a one piece main bulkhead and floor assembly, together with skeleton framework for doors and roof. Body panels already painted, easily replaceable in the event of damage, are among the last items to be fitted during manufacture.

New type front suspension includes conventional lower wishbones, but substantial upper arms with horizontal coil springs which pivot against the strong bulkhead and are linked by a square section torsion bar, loads being absorbed by the scuttle shoulders. The steering box, also mounted on the scuttle, has short linkage passing behind the engine, which has the bulk of its weight concentrated directly over the front axle.

Rear suspension lay-out by coil springs includes teleskopic de Dion axle on Watts linkage, with lateral location through drive shafts. On the road, this expensive form of suspension provides very stable motoring under slippery conditions, even on badly cambered roads.

On a cold morning the Rover 2000 fires immediately with a minimum of choke and soon warms to its work in a quiet manner. Everything about this car is quiet and unobtrusive. A very good performance is there for those who make use of the gearbox: most of the power lies in the middle and upper ranges. With the right foot hard down the Rover 2000 can be up to its maximum of 104 mph in less than a minute. Even at these speeds the car is beautifully stable.

Quiet Gear Changing

The central remote control gear lever has a slightly notchy action, but the gears go in quietly and without difficulty: the nicely spaced ratios allow maximums in the lower gears of 84 mph, 56 mph and 33 mph. Acceleration is agreeably swift from standing starts, 50 mph coming up in 10 secs, while an easy economical 80 mph cruising can be reached in 27.5 secs. Along foreign motorways 90 mph can be steadily kept up if desired, although at this speed fuel consumption goes up too.

The Marles worm and roller steering is light and positive in action, particularly at higher speeds. Although low geared, needing just over 3 1/2 turns from lock to lock the steering is accurate and neutral, while the smaller Rover is little affected by gusty side winds, nor does body roll upset stability when the car is pushed rapidly through corners. Over a variety of good, bad or indifferent roads, the well damped Rover suspension shows up to advantage. The ride is firm but very comfortable, aided by properly designed seats.

Modest Consumption

For its power, performance and capacity, fuel consumption is agreeably modest. Driven really hard it will drop to 23 mpg; driven more gently it is possible to better 30 mpg. The large servo assisted Dunlop disc brakes at all wheels cut speeds rapidly and smoothly, although on my test car at slow speeds they were inclined to grumble, accompanied by a faint suspicion of grabbing. The self-adjusting handbrake has a positive action and held with ease on gradients of 1 in 4 1/2.

The nicely furnished four-door body offers very comfortable seating for four adults; by folding back the central arm rest it is possible to carry a third passenger on the rear seat. Although I prefer to regard the Rover 2000 as a very comfortable four seater, this model is almost unique in providing individual armchair type rear seats. Entering the car, one steps over a sill, which has the advantage of allowing a low floor with deep, well-shaped, individual front seats. From the driverīs point of view there is a further evidence of good design: legs drop well down on to the pedals, yet the seat cushion is fairly high, to allow a natural seating position with better control for the driver. The cushion gives good under leg support and enables the driver to remain properly centred when driving fast. Angle of the steering wheel can be adjusted to suit drivers of widely varying builds: the Rover 2000 offers one of the most comfortable, relaxed driving positions to be found on any car today.

A "Pretty" Dial

As a personal preference I would prefer circular instruments rather than the "pretty" oblong dial. All controls come easily to hand and I like the hand dipping for the headlamps, which give a good range and spread of light. The boot, carrying spare wheel upright, is deep enough to swallow a large quantity of luggage. Servicing is simple: there is only one grease point needing attention at 5.000-miles intervals.

In its class the modern Rover 2000 is outstanding. It will appeal to all who are fond of comfort and enjoy driving a well-built car in which it is a pleasure to hurry or dawdle.

0-60 mph 14.4 sec.

top speed 104 mph

fuel consumption 23-29 mpg


Good Motoring / UK May 1966