Partnership with Honda
The Rover 800 was designed as a replacement for the Rover SD1. Development of the car began in 1981 as part of a venture with Honda under the XX codename; the corresponding Honda version was known as the Honda Legend, and was codenamed as HX. The development work was carried out at Rover's Canley plant and Honda's Tochigi development centre. The European market Legend was produced by Austin-Rover alongside the 800 in the former Morris plant in Cowley, Oxfordshire. US-market (Acura) Legends were built in Japan.
The basic versions of the 800 used two 2.0L 16-valve developments of British Leyland's stalwart O-Series engine, dubbed M-Series. The 820e, with single point injection, and the 820i with multi-point injection, i.e. 4 injectors. The top versions used a Honda designed V6 unit in 2.5L capacity. Initially, only a saloon body was offered; a liftback version — referred to as a fastback — became available in 1988.