The 1975 Austin Princess is yet another prime example of what happens when management makes mistakes. They can take a great car, that has every advantage and every chance of performing well on the market, and turn it, at the flick of a wrist, in a lemon, or at the very least an under-performing dud. This is the story of the Austin Princess. This great car, when it appeared on the market in 1975, was available as a hatchback. Or rather, could have been available as a hatchback, a type of car that simply didn’t exist in that size. It would have had a whole segment to itself. Instead, the bosses, which obviously knew little about marketing, market shares or competition, launched the car as a sedan, instead, in a market already glutted with these types of car. Needless to say, it didn’t perform very well.
Under the Austin Princess’ hood was a little 2-liter four cylinder engine, which pumped out an adequate 92 horsepower. It could reach a top speed of 110 mph, and accelerate to 60 mph in 12.9 seconds. It had a four-speed manual transmission, and front disc / rear drum brakes.
Besides the fact that it should have been a hatchback, the 1975 Austin Princess featured an interconnected, advanced Hydragas suspension, which gave it surprisingly good handling. It’s too bad corporate hubris and government mismanagement got in the way of this car’s potential.