The Austin 3-Liter is a British car that was introduced by Austin at the London Motor Show in 1967.

It became apparent that BMC was not prepared to produce the car: few or none appear to have been sold that year, but in July 1968 it was reported that the cars began to leave the factory.

By that time the square headlights seen in the 1967 auto show had been replaced by conventional round double-headlight units, and by the time of the October 1968 show the car had also acquired front lights. In July 1968, with the cars beginning to emerge from the factory, manufacturers were asked to detail the improvements supposedly implemented since the car's "launch" the previous October.

Modifications to the rear suspension hydraulic valve bore were mentioned and it was stated that there was a "new" final drive ratio of 3.9: 1, although this was actually the same final drive ratio included in the previous October release information.

Code-coded ADO61, the car was designed to be BMC's offering in the 3-liter business class and was originally designed in the early 1960s, before the British Leyland era. Unlike the visually similar (but smaller) Morris 1800 front-wheel drive, the 125-horsepower 3-liter engine (a 7-bearing modification of the BMC C-Series with two SU carburetors) drove the rear wheels through a conventional powertrain. 4 gears. gear box. The car used Hydrolastic suspension with self-leveling hydraulic water rams at the rear and was praised for its excellent driving and handling.

Alec Issigonis, who designed the front-wheel drive cars, did not participate in the 3-liter, which he supposedly wanted to highlight.

To cater to the intended market, the interior was luxurious, with wood veneers and fabric lining (but leather upholstery was unavailable, being replaced by a good quality vinyl) and the boot was longer than 1800, contributing for a general economy. 4,700 mm (186 in.) (The 1800 was 4,200 mm).

The luxurious 3-liter Wolseley and Vanden Plas versions have reached the prototype stage, but have gone no further. A small number of real estate models were built however, converted by Crayford. In the early days of British Leyland, proposals for a Rover version were considered to replace the 3-liter Rover P5, but did not go beyond the drawing board.

The sales were very bad. The standard version had been withdrawn in 1969, while the deluxe version continued until the model was completely discontinued in May 1971 after less than 10,000 had been produced. He suffered from the perception that he was just an expanded Morris "Landcrab" (in fact, he earned the nickname "Lobster"), with which he shared his section and central doors - a perception that was further aggravated when the The smaller Austin Maxi also used the same bodywork, although the 3 liter was indeed a very different car. BMC also did not take into account changing tastes in the 'executive' sector of the auto market. Cars like the Rover P6 and Triumph 2000 had set new handling standards in the class and had smaller but more efficient engines and a sleeker, more modern styling. The 3-liter was very much in the spirit of its Austin Westminster predecessor - a large car with a large-capacity engine that emphasized luxury and driver comfort over handling and economy, although these last two factors were at odds. making it more important in the industry.

The 3 liters also hit the market as soon as BMC took over Jaguar and merged with Leyland Motors to create British Leyland (BL). Within the new conglomerate, the 3-liter was now being sold alongside similar-sized rivals Jaguar, Rover and Triumph - all perceived as genuine performance / luxury brands compared to Austin, which was viewed as a conventional market brand. low cost. For this reason, the 3-Liter was not replaced directly, and finally the Rover and Jaguar models played the role of the 3-Liter in BL's portfolio.

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