Austin Metro saloon
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.