• Click on any photo to open a larger on-screen image.
The Rover Quintet and Rover 416i were built by the Honda Motor Company in Japan on behalf of Jaguar Rover Australia, latterly JRA Limited, exclusively for the Australian market. (Jaguar Rover Australia/JRA Limited was the successor to the Leyland Motor Corporation of Australia.)
Jaguar Rover Australia, latterly JRA Limited, had considered importing the United Kingdom built Rover R8 416i, however currency exchange rates during the 1980’s favoured the Japanese Yen, influencing Jaguar Rover Australia to source the Rover Quintet and later, the Rover 416i from the Honda Motor Company in Japan. This resulted in a more favourable retail price to the customer in Australia. The arrangement was facilitated through a design and manufacturing collaboration existing in the United Kingdom at the time between Rover and Honda.
1983 to 1985
The Rover Quintet was based on the Japanese market Honda Quint. It was built by the Honda Motor Company in Japan on behalf of the Australian importer, Jaguar Rover Australia, exclusively for the Australian market. It was sold on the Australian market as a smaller complimentary model to the larger Rover 3500 SE & Rover Vanden Plas 3500.
• Above: 1983 Rover Quintet, front page of Australian market brochure dated 1 March 1983.
Rover 416i | Rover 416i SE | Rover 416i Vitesse
1985 to 1989
The Rover 416i was based on the contemporary Honda Integra (Project YY). It is understood that a commercial arrangement existed whereby the Australian market Rover 416i was built and sold exclusively as a 5-door hatchback, whereas the near-identical Australian market Honda Integra was built and sold exclusively as a 3-door hatchback.
The Rover 416i was introduced by JRA initially as a single model. Subsequently the model range was expanded to two trim levels, the Rover 416i SE and Rover 416i Vitesse. At launch, the single model Rover 416i was supplied with alloy wheels. The later Rover 416i SE was supplied with silver painted steel wheels without wheel trims, black bumpers & valances; the Rover 416i Vitesse was supplied with alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers & valances.
The Rover 416i SE & Rover 416i Vitesse received a mild restyle circa 1988, which included a different shaped front air intake & larger front fog/driving lights. The Rover 416i Vitesse also received different pattern alloy wheels around the same time.
The Rover 416i SE & 416i Vitesse continued to be sold in Australia alongside the larger Rover 825/827 saloon & 827 Vitesse hatch until 1989 when the Honda-sourced Rover 416i (first generation Honda Integra) ceased production.
• Above: 1986 Rover 416i, photo detail from Australian market brochure dated February 1986.
• Above: 1987 Rover 416i SE, photo detail from Australian market brochure dated July 1987.
•Above: 1987 Honda Integra, pictured in Canberra, A.C.T. in December 2013.
• Above: 1991 Rover R8 416i, pictured at the National Rover Rally in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 2/4/1994. This car had been imported from the United Kingdom by JRA Limited for evaluation, however the decision to import the U.K. model was not proceeded with.
• Above: 1991 Rover R8 416 GSi & 1991 Rover R8 220 GTi Coupé, pictured at the Sydney Motor Show, 12/10/1991. These United Kingdom production cars had been imported by Rover Australia for evaluation and to gauge local market reaction. However the decision to import was not proceeded with. Soon after, Rover Australia ceased importation of Rover cars and concentrated exclusively on the importation and distribution of Land Rovers and Range Rovers. Rover cars again became available in Australia during 2001.
(Rover Australia was the successor to JRA Limited.)
• The Rover & Honda joint collaboration is covered in detail in a book titled Rover Met Honda edited by Mike Carver, Nicholas Seale and Anne Youngson
CSY Publishing, 2008, 177 pages, ISBN-10: 0956034306
• Click this link to read the book review | Rover Met Honda book review