BL Tech­nol­ogy ECV3

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - 10 Of The Best -

This clever lit­tle car was the brain­child of ex-Rover and BL tech­ni­cal ge­nius Spen King. It was meant to be a show­case for the new BL Tech­nol­ogy divi­sion, set up in the late 1970s, and con­ceived to help de­liver new and ex­cit­ing cars and driv­e­trains to its em­bat­tled maker. The alu­minium-bod­ied ECV3 was cer­tainly promis­ing, and in many ways, was 20 years ahead of its time. So, this Mae­stro-sized car weighed less than 800kg, was pow­ered by a 1.1-litre three-cylin­der en­gine (which ended up be­com­ing the K-se­ries) and was claimed to de­liver 100mpg at low speeds. A few mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ists drove it at the time at the Gay­don test track, and said it was a lit­tle rough and ready, but was cer­tainly an in­ter­est­ing propo­si­tion.


It was never any­thing more than a test­bed for the en­gi­neers to play with, but there’s some­thing quite en­gag­ing about the ECV3. Look at cars like the Audi A2, and you’ll see just how far this was ahead of its time. Its en­gine did make it into pro­duc­tion – in a way – as the light­weight K-se­ries.

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