The P6 would be the last of Rover’s P6 classification model lines but –even after it was finally discontinued –not many people knew that, because the three P6 models were invariably known by the engine size-2000, 2200 or 3500.The Rover 2000 replaced the P4 in 1963 and was an entirely new design.
The somewhat angular shape was very different from is comfortably rounded predecessor but was very much in tune with the times, being voted European Car of the Year in 1964.
This was in part due to advanced features like an all synchro gearbox, four-wheel disc brakes and de Dion tube, rear suspension. The 2 liter overhead-cam engine had been designed for the P6 2000 with a flat Heron head that had combustion chambers let into the piston heads. This would be redesigned and fitted with twin SU carburetors for the 2000 TC, upping the power output by a quarter. This performance version had competed in rally competition and was primarily intended for export to America, though it was available on the home market, from late ’66.
The next evolution’ was the Rover 3500, which was launched in 1968 with the powerful aluminium V8 engine already used to good effect in the Rover PSG. Both 2000 and 3500 were offered side by side, jointly seeing a major revision in 1970 with a Mk II version that delivered minor styling changes and art enhanced interior. The battery was moved to the boot, further encroaching on already limited luggage space.
The 2000 continued in production until the Rover 2200 appeared in 1973 with a bored-out version of the 2000 engine, allowing the 2000 to be honourably retired. Production of the entire P6 series finally came to an end in 1977 after a long and commercially successful run.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
1963 (UNTIL 1973)
1,978 cc Straight Four
ROVER 2000 TC – top speed of 112 mph(180 km/h); 0-60 mph(97 km/h) in 9,9 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
The rarest of P6s are the fewer 200 that were converted to Estoura estate cars. With Rover’s blessing, the work being undertaken by H.R Owen and Crayford Engineering – though is is thought that a minority of these were actually based on Rover 2000s.