|Body style||4-door saloon 5-door estate|
|Engine||1.4 L K-Series I4 1.6 L I4 2.0 L M-Series I4 1.8 L Turbo Diesel 1.9 L NA Diesel|
|Related||Rover 200 Honda Concerto|
The original 400 Series, launched as a four-door saloon in early 1990, was simply a saloon version of the second-generation Rover 200 Series hatchback, both sharing the codename R8 during development. Like the 200, the model was designed in collaboration with Honda (who produced the corresponding designed-for-Europe Concerto model) and both models would share production lines at Rover's Longbridge facility. It used the same core structure and mechanicals as the Honda, but the rear-end redesign of the glasshouse and body were unique to Rover. Interior trim and electrical architecture were all shared with the "R8" Rover 200.
An estate—or station wagon—version was subsequently developed by Rover Special Products. Badged as the 'Rover 400 Tourer', this remained in production alongside the second generation 400 until 1998, as no estate version of the later car was built.
The R8 Rover 200 and 400 were the first applications of Rover's K-Series family of engines (appearing in 1.4 L (1,396 cc) twin-cam 16-valve form). The 1.6 L (1,590 cc) version used either a Honda D16A6 & D16Z2 SOHC or D16A8 DOHC powerplant, while the 2.0 L M-Series unit from the 800-series followed soon afterwards (1991) in the sportier versions. The Rover-engined models drove the front wheels via jointly developed Peugeot/Rover R65 gearboxes (1.4 litre) and licence built Honda-designed PG1s for the 1.6 and 2.0-litre versions. The Rover 420 GSI turbo and GSI Sport turbo, produced in limited numbers, were equipped with the turbocharged 197 bhp (147 kW) Rover T-Series engine.
Also available were two PSA (non-electronically controlled Lucas CAV injection pumps) Indirect injection diesel engines, with the choice of naturally aspirated 1.9-litre XUD9 or turbocharged 1.8 XUD7T engines. They were class leading in their refinement in Peugeot and Citroen installations, but less refined in the Rovers. These engines were installed instead of the non-electronically controlled Bosch HPVE Direct Injection Rover MDi / Perkins Prima used in the Austin Maestro and Montego, because that engine, with its noisy combustion but lower fuel consumption, was deemed too unrefined for the new models.
A mid-life facelift (also applied to the Rover 200) saw the reintroduction of the Rover grille which had also reappeared on the R17 facelift of the Rover 800. This change was achieved without significant change to the remaining structure, but provided a more distinctive Rover "family look" and establish a certain distance from the Honda Concerto.
|Body style||4-door saloon 5-door hatchback|
|Engine||1.4 L K-Series I4 1.6 L K-Series I4 1.6 L D-Series (automatic) I4 2.0 L T-Series I4 2.0 L Turbo Diesel I4|
The second generation 400 Series, codenamed Theta or HH-R, was launched in the summer of 1995 as a hatchback and later a saloon. This time it was based on the Honda Domani, which had been released in Japan in 1992, and was sold as part of the European Honda Civic range in five-door hatchback form. It was no longer as closely related to the 200 Series, which was revised independently by Rover but still shared many components with the 400. Power came from 1.4 and 1.6-litre K-Series, 1.6-litre Honda D series SOHC (Automatic gearbox only) and 2.0 L Rover T Series petrol engines, as well as a 2.0-litre L-Series turbodiesel from the more luxurious 600 Series.
The Rover 400 might have been marketed as a small family car, it compares closely in size and engine range with contemporary models such as the Ford Escort and Vauxhall Astra. Instead Rover priced the car to compete with vehicles like the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Vectra.
This was due as Rover's only offering in the large family car segment at the time was the ageing Montego and this gap in the company's line-up needed to be filled. A saloon version was later introduced for the 400.
The related Honda Civic was not sold as a saloon in the UK, although a four door version was available in other markets. This helped to expand the appeal of the Rover model up-market into the executive car segment, and to better differentiate the two cars.