As part of the British Leyland group, Rover launched the SD1 in 1976 and gave it handsome fastback styling which years later was admitted as being inspired by the Ferrari Daytona. The car initially used the Rover V8 engine, which was a version of Buick's all-aluminium unit which had been bought in the early 1960s. While the SD1 sold well into the 1980s, by then it had started to look dated, so it was facelifted in 1982. The following year saw a substantial increase in power with the launch of the Vitesse, which was French for 'speed'. The Vitesse ran the same SD1 layout of front-engine, rear-wheel drive via a live axle, but had lowered and stiffened suspension, uprated front disc brakes, larger alloys and re-calibrated steering. The engine received Lucas electronic fuel injection and the heads had gas flow improvements. In 1986 a Twin Plenum intake upped power over 200bhp (149kW).
Rover SD1 Vitesse Specifications
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