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Austin Maestro
Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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Austin Maestro Vanden Plas.jpg

Austin Maestro/Maestro. 1983–94 (prod. 605,411 at Cowley incl. MG). 5-door saloon, 2-door van. F/F, 1275, 1598 cm³ petrol, 1994 cm³ diesel (I4 OHC). Second car in BL’s 1980s planned recovery, following Austin Mini Metro. Upright, glassy design, but less aerodynamic than shapes beginning to emerge from Europe. Fairly well made, and original high-line models featured talking computer (with warnings) featuring voice of actress Nicolette McKenzie. Not as strong a seller as hoped, though gained a reputation for being simple, value-for-money motoring. New fascia from Montego in 1986. Austin marque missing from one model in 1987 (1·3L), and following year saw it disappear from whole range. Perkins diesel added 1988, proving to be well liked despite dated bodyshell. New badge did not resemble Rover Viking longship on Montego (1988–94); it just read ‘Maestro’; cars continued to be known colloquially as Austins. UK production ended 1994, but some CKD kits shipped to Varna, Bulgaria where cars were planned for manufacture 1995–6, but the venture failed. Surplus kits assembled in UK by Parkway Services in Ledbury, 1997–2001 (621 made) and Apple 2000 in Bury St Edmonds, most converted to RHD. Tooling sold to Etsong of China, released as Ruby (saloon) and Laird (van) with Toyota engines.

Manufacturing location: Cowley, Oxfordshire, England

Marque: Austin | Predecessors: Austin Allegro 3, Maxi 2 | Successor: Rover 200 (R8)


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