Austin Metro sa­loon

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

The Austin Metro was billed as the ‘Bri­tish car to beat the world’ when it was launched in 1980. And rightly so – it was a clever re­skin­ning and re-en­gi­neer­ing job of the Mini, made com­pet­i­tive enough to give the Ford Fi­esta a fright on the UK mar­ket. It was ini­tially launched as a three-door hatch­back but was al­ways planned as a five-door, too. But the one that got away was this dis­tinc­tive two-door sa­loon. In mar­ket­ing terms, this car would have met with few ri­vals, and there­fore had a great crack at the mar­ket – but the Volk­swa­gen Derby and Vaux­hall Nova sa­loon hardly set the world on fire, and chances are, nei­ther would this.

WHY WASN’T IT MADE?

Al­though there was some de­mand for small sa­loons in the UK in the early 1980s, it was not enough to war­rant adding this variant to the Metro range. It was planned up as a pro­to­type in 1980-82, but failed to lead any­where – ba­si­cally be­cause it was the an­swer to a ques­tion few peo­ple asked.

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