The best road tests of all time: Rover P6 3500S Car News

Tested on 21.10.71

We were already fans of the P6 V8, but it was crippled by a mandatory torque converter auto. The Model S’s manual transmission perfected the recipe.

The 2000 four-speed manual gearbox was beefed up for the 3500S, and a revised exhaust system increased power slightly over the auto. The manual, like the auto, used two SU carbs to power its aluminum-intensive V8.

The loss of the torque converter dramatically increased throttle response without sacrificing smoothness and flexibility, although the transmission’s whine did irritate. A comfortable cruising speed was 100 mph despite some wind noise, and economy was also impressive. The all-around disc brakes worked well.

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The supple ride was in keeping with the overall refinement of the 3500S, and the variable-ratio steering worked well. The body roll was quite pronounced and the car was generally understeered, but it could be pulled into a controlled slide.

The seats were nicely adjustable and supportive, and the instrumentation excellent. Fit and finish were superb inside and out, and a narrow boot was our only interior complaint.

For: Performance, economy, driving, build quality

Vs: Loud transmission, wind noise, cramped trunk

What happened next…

The four-cylinder P6 was increased from 1978 cc to 2205 cc in 1973 in the 2200SC (single fuel) and 2200TC (dual fuel) models, developing 98 bhp and 115 bhp respectively. They continued production alongside V8s until 1976, by which time British Leyland construction diseases had taken their toll. The P6 was replaced by the SD1, which retained the 3.5-liter V8 but reverted to a solid rear axle.

Information sheet

Price £1998 Motor V8, 3528cc, petrol Power 153hp at 5000rpm Couple 204 lb ft at 2750 rpm 0-60mph 9.1s 0-100mph 29.3s quarter mile standing 16.8sec at 81mph Top speed 122mph Economy 23mpg

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This notice was published: 2022-03-21 05:01:22

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