1980 Austin Mini Metro

The 1980 Austin Mini Metro has just got to be one of the most discussed car in automotive history. It’s not because it was incredibly good, or incredibly bad. It’s because the British government had nationalized British Leyland, the car manufacturer. The Mini had been discontinued, and they needed a replacement. Since it was a matter of public funds, and probably a lot of it, too (governments never go at that half-ass, for some reason), the project car ADO 88 was much discussed in Parliament. The problem with the ADO 88 was that it was a terrible looking car. It was expertly and urgently redesigned prior to launch, and became the Mini Metro.

1980 Austin Mini Metro
1980 Austin Mini Metro

Of course, redesigning the internal components of a car are much too expensive, particularly if there are commissions and research and studies to be funded. It is the government, after all. So the Mini Metro retained almost all the drive-train, etc., of the Mini, except the engine got a slight boost. The Mini Metro was powered by a four-cylinder, 1 liter engine producing 63 horsepower. It could reach a top speed of 93 miles an hour (almost 150 km/h!) and accelerate to 60 mph in 14.9 seconds.

The 1980 Austin Mini Metro stayed in production until 1990, and wasn’t a flop. It generated good sales, and a few higher-performance variants. For a government project, it has to be one the OK ones.

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