Metro to 100
In 1994 Rover took the decision to revamp the Metro, renaming it to Rover 100 in the process.
However with the rest of the Rover range also being updated and a brand new 200 on the way the budget was tight. A budget of just five million was announced. This was nothing compared to the £300 million in 1980 and the £200 million in 1990.
However the money was to be used to give the car a new image rather than try and make a completely new car from the old Metro. The Rover 100 is quite obviously a Metro with a facelift, and many just see it as a Metro.
Rover 100 styling
However the investment in the car was largely spent on the new front end styling as the car was to be marketed on its new "chic" image. The new grill was designed to give the car a prestige image while the smoother bonnet with a slight bulge was to give the car a look would echo the design on it bigger sisters the 600 and the new 200 and 400.
The rest of the five million budget was spent on minor improvements to try improve the car where possible at low cost (see the list below). The other main emphasis on the 100 was the improved safety, a stronger body, driver airbag option and side intrusion beams all brought it up to regulatory standards, but sadly the old body design could not compete with modern crash resistant designs, as proved a year late in Euro-NCAP crash test.
Nicki Darzinskas (Rover's brand manager) said:
"We're certainly not ashamed of the name Metro, but 100 fits more logically within our range".
At the time (1994) she also said the plans for an all-new Metro were in place for the near future??? Nicki said that Rover's constant improvements to the Metro over the years had kept it in the UK's top ten cars.
Sales surveys by Rover revealed that 60% of Metro's were bought by women, and the 40% of men bought them mainly for wives and girlfriends. Sales on the 100 relied on the chic new image, but another main selling point was the alarm and immobiliser fitted as standard to all models, claimed by Rover to be the best in the market.
Prices were also slashed; the GSi being over £800 cheaper than the Metro it replaced, this made the 100 cheaper than the competition giving it more of a fighting chance. Her final comment was:
"It's style, quality and convenience show that in the Rover 100, less is more".
Here is a comprehensive list of the changes that occurred to make the Rover 100 in 1995 (don't you dare call it a Metro!)
- New front end (bumpers, headlights, grille, bonnet)
- New wheel trims (new alloys too)
- New sills
- Updated rear lights (smoked grey indicator)
- New tailgate release/number plate lamps surround
- New rear bumper
- New badges on rear
- New interior trims
- New steering column/wheel (optional airbag)
- Updated dashboard layout (see pic)
- Improved driving position (new seats and steering column)
- New control stalks (from old Rover 200)
- New sunroof handle and mountings
- Injection engine as standard
- New side impact beams in doors
- New rubber mat on the dashboard!
- New driver console dashboard surround in soft black plastic.
- New hazard lights switch, in place of cigar lighter
- The cigar lighter is at the other side in place of the choke which is not needed with the injection engine
There were many hidden improvements to the subframe mountings and the way the body was constructed to help improve the ride and safety, many such improvements were made all the time between 1990 and 1998 as part of an ongoing development.
Rover 100 model history
Rover 100 front drive Hatchbacks: 111i, Si and SLi (60 bhp); 114 SLi, GSi and GTa (75 bhp); and 115 SD and SLD (57 bhp). 5 speed gearbox (optional CVT Auto on 114 SLi and GSi).
Side impact beams, restyled body and interior, alarm, immobiliser. Airbag option. 111i has radio cassette, rear wash wipe, tinted glass, black bumpers, centre console; 111 Si and 115 SD have body colour bumpers, sunroof; SLi and SLD have central locking, 60/40 split rear seat, body colour mirrors;
114 GTa has alloy wheels, rev counter, body colour sills, spoiler; 114 GSi has electric front windows, wood fascia trim.
Special 111 Kensington (3-door £6395, 5-door £6795) and Kensington SE (3-door £6995, 5-door £7395). Used values: Kensington slightly higher than 111i; Kensington SE slightly higher than 111 Si.
100 1.4 Cabriolet (75 bhp) available to special order only.
111 GSi 5-door launched.
1.1i Knightsbridge and 1.1i/1.5D Knightsbridge SE models launched to replace previous 111i and 111 Si/115 SD. Revisions: 114 SLi has new trim and rear speakers; 1
14 GSi has new trim and GTa- style 6-spoke alloy wheels.
111 Ascot/Ascot SE and 115D Ascot SE replace previous Knightsbridge models. SE has sunroof, remote central locking, body colour bumpers, walnut trim.