By the end of the 70s and the early 80s, it was clear that British Leyland, and Rover, were a spent force in their present shape. South African boss Michael Edwardes was hired to clean house, which he did, but he also managed to preserve what little remained of the British auto industry by entering into a partnership with Honda. Although Edwardes was long gone when the 1986 Rover 827 Vitesse arrived on the scene, he can be credited for sowing the seeds that led to it. The top of the 800 Rover line, the 827, was built on the same chassis as the Honda Legend, and went with a sleek, modern look that wasn’t unpleasant, but unfortunately did not endure.
The 827 Vitesse was no slouch when it to its engine: it was powered by a silky-smouth, 24-valve 2.7-liter V6 engine, borrowed from Honda – who else – that developed a very acceptable 177 horsepower. It was enough to push the 827 Vitesse to a top speed of 138 miles per hour, and boasted a 0-60 acceleration time of about 8 seconds.
Unfortunately, the future was not so rosy for the 1986 Rover 827 Vitesse; its US launch was a unmitigated disaster, and the car was cancelled in 1991, and buried in an unmarked grave. Just kidding.