As a replacement for the Rover SD1, the 800 should have hit the spot perfectly – it was sophisticated, powered by a range of multi-valve engines, and looked bang up to date. But those shiny new engines failed to deliver, and early build issues soon tarnished the new car’s reputation. The 2.5-litre Honda V6 was soon replaced by a torquier 2.7, and that transformed the Sterling and its new Vitesse stablemate into a fast and effortless sporting saloon. Nice examples of the Honda-engined cars are now going up in value, although there’s little upward movement for the fours.
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The ROVER 800 Vitesse/Sterling release date is to be announced on Saloon.