SD1 3500 Vitesse 1982 to 1986
Rover SD1 3500 Vitesse 1982 to 1986
The flagship of the SD1 range, with a 190bhp V8, better specification, and a successful racing career. Produced from 1982 to 1986.
Originally fitted with a 205/60VR15 radial tyre.
The Rover SD1 replaced the Rover P6 3500 in 1976. The new car came only with a 3.5-litre V8 and it was the first project from British Leyland's Special Division, hence the SD1 name. Within a year the Rover SD1 2300 and 2600 had superseded the four-cylinder P6 along with the six-cylinder Triumph 2000 and 2500.
In 1979 the forgotten Rover SD1 was launched: the V8-S, which was the precursor to the SD1 Vitesse. A facelifted Rover SD1 was launched in 1982. These Series 2 cars have a bigger rear window, a smoother front end with flush-fitting headlamps, bigger bumpers and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine option. Soon after, the diesel-powered 2400SD the 2600 SE and the Vitesse were also introduced, the latter with a 190bhp fuel-injected V8 and lowered suspension.
In 1984, the Vanden Plas EFi was launched with the Vitesse’s 3.5-litre V8, then the following year the Twin-Plenum Vitesse appeared, of which just 500 were built. By 1986 the Rover 800 had been launched but the SD1 2300, 2600 and Vitesse remained in production until 1987.