Year of Rover 618
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The Rover 600 Series is a compact executive car produced by the British car maker Rover from 1993 to 1999.
The Rover 600 exterior was designed by Rover, a complete re-skin of the Tochigi-developed Honda Accord, also built in the UK by Honda in Swindon. The core structure and vast majority of the engineering content was sourced from Honda but the vehicles were designed at the same time, with a small Rover team on-site in Japan. Colour and trim derivatives were also used to help separate the Rover from the Honda in the marketplace. The 1.8, 2.0 and 2.3-litre straight-4 petrol engines were all provided by Honda. However, the 2.0-litre turbodiesel Rover L-Series engine and turbocharged petrol engines were developed by Rover itself, evolutions of units already available elsewhere in the Rover model range.
The 600's interior included wood and chrome trim, as well as relatively high equipment levels, although rear legroom was criticised as rather constrained. The interior was derived from the Japanese-built Honda Ascot Innova, the only difference being the added passenger airbag on certain models. Carpet was also not evident along the bottom trim of the dashboard, although it did feature there on the Innova.
The Honda-derived chassis was reported to give a comfortable but unsporting ride. Given the Rover's equipment, prices were reasonably competitive in the large family car segment and considerably lower than the price of such compact executive cars such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
After six years, Rover 600 production ceased in the Spring of 1999; it was replaced with the retro-styled Rover 75 developed under BMW's stewardship. The 75 also replaced the larger 800 Series.
The 600 had been a popular car in the compact executive sector, with a large percentage of sales being to the fleet market.
In 1994, the 620ti was launched. It had a turbocharged, intercooled, 16-valve, twin-cam 2.0-litre T series engine, a top speed of 143mph (230km/ h), and a 0-60mph time of 7 seconds, thanks to 197bhp (147kW) and 174lb·ft (236N·m) torque. The 620ti also had uprated suspension, dark half-leather upholstery, and a set of six-spoke 16" alloy wheels. Autocar magazine (February 8, 1995) had an example on a long term test and found it to be as quick in the mid-range as a Ford Sapphire Cosworth following tests at Millbrook Proving Ground.
The 600 was available in the following versions:
Badging was determined by engine size: 618 models had 1.8-litre engines, 620 had 2.0 engines, and 623 had 2.3-litre engines. Petrol engines, apart from the 620ti, were Honda units and the 620ti and all diesel versions were Rover units. Honda used the Rover diesel engine in the diesel version of the Accord.
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