The Rover Quintet and Rover 416i were built by the Honda Motor Company in Japan on behalf of Jaguar Rover Australia (JRA), latterly JRA Limited, exclusively for the Australian market. These cars were painted in the same colour palette applied to the UK assembled SD1 series and sold along side the SD1 in JRA dealerships. Rover badging was applied to the front and rear of the vehicles and the centre of the steering wheel, whilst Honda branding remained on all other components.
It is interesting to note that the Australian delivered 416i has no relationship to the ‘R8’ series 416i built by Austin Rover Group in the UK. JRA had considered importing the R8 416i, however currency exchange rates during the 1980’s favoured the Japanese Yen, influencing JRA to source both the Quintet and later the 416i from Honda in Japan. The arrangement with Honda was facilitated at a time when Rover and Honda were collaborating on design and manufacturing for a range of vehicles, including the development of the Rover 800/Honda Legend, and the Rover 400/Honda Concerto.
1983 to 1985
The Rover Quintet was based on the Japanese market Honda Quint. It was built by the Honda Motor Company in Japan on behalf of the Australian importer, Jaguar Rover Australia, exclusively for the Australian market. It was sold on the Australian market as a smaller complimentary model to the larger Rover 3500 SE & Rover Vanden Plas 3500.
• Above: 1983 Rover Quintet, front page of Australian market brochure dated 1 March 1983.
• Above: Rover Quintet, photo taken in Melbourne, Victoria courtesy of the Rover Car Club of Australia.
Rover 416i | Rover 416i SE | Rover 416i Vitesse
1985 to 1989
The Rover 416i was based on the contemporary Honda Integra (Project YY). It is understood that a commercial arrangement existed whereby the Australian market Rover 416i was built and sold exclusively as a 5-door hatchback, whereas the near-identical Australian market Honda Integra was built and sold exclusively as a 3-door hatchback.
The Rover 416i was introduced by JRA initially as a single model. Subsequently the model range was expanded to two trim levels, the Rover 416i SE and Rover 416i Vitesse. At launch, the single model Rover 416i was supplied with alloy wheels. The later Rover 416i SE was supplied with silver painted steel wheels without wheel trims, black bumpers & valances; the Rover 416i Vitesse was supplied with alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers & valances.
• Above: extract from Modern Motor magazine, News, November 1987.
Extract with acknowledgement to the publishers of Modern Motor magazine.
The Rover 416i SE & Rover 416i Vitesse received a mild restyle circa 1988, which included a different shaped front air intake & larger front fog/driving lights. The Rover 416i Vitesse also received different pattern alloy wheels around the same time.
The Rover 416i SE & 416i Vitesse continued to be sold in Australia alongside the larger Rover 825/827 saloon & 827 Vitesse hatch until 1989 when the Honda-sourced Rover 416i (first generation Honda Integra) ceased production.
• Above: 1986 Rover 416i, photo detail from Australian market brochure dated February 1986.
• Above: 1989 Rover 416i Vitesse, photographed at the Rover Owners Club NSW & ACT annual Display Day at Luddenham, New South Wales, 30/10/2011. Photo by Webmaster.
• Above: 1987 Rover 416i SE, photo detail from Australian market brochure dated July 1987.
• Above: 1987 Honda Integra, pictured in Canberra, A.C.T. in December 2013. Photo by C.F.
• Above: 1991 Rover R8 416i, pictured at the National Rover Rally in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 2/4/1994. This car had been imported from the United Kingdom by JRA Limited for evaluation, however the decision to import the U.K. model was not proceeded with.
Photo by Webmaster.
• Above: 1991 Rover R8 416 GSi & 1991 Rover R8 220 GTi Coupé, pictured at the Sydney Motor Show, 12/10/1991. These United Kingdom production cars had been imported by Rover Australia for evaluation and to gauge local market reaction. However the decision to import was not proceeded with. Soon after, Rover Australia ceased importation of Rover cars and concentrated exclusively on the importation and distribution of Land Rovers and Range Rovers. Rover cars again became available in Australia during 2001.
(Rover Australia was the successor to JRA Limited.)
Photos by Webmaster.