ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

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akronos
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ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#1 Post by akronos » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:19 pm

I found this car for 500 €, I would like to buy it. The seller told me this is a version with 75 kw (102hp). Can you tell me what engine it is? Is it a Honda engine?

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220 GSi turbo
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#2 Post by 220 GSi turbo » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:19 pm

It is the Austin/Rover S-series engine, shared with the Maestro and Montego and mated to a Honda PG1 gearbox.

The engine was only in production for approx 10 years and 1.6 8 valve was the only size used.

Tuning opportunities are limited, but Moto Build used to race MG Maestros with this engine if I remember correctly.
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#3 Post by GTiJohn » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:14 am

That's a rare car!

There are not many SD3s about and very few are 1.6 EFIs. That engine was only fitted to the Vitesse and Vanden Plas models and replaced that carburettor versions.

I do hope you've bought it :clapping
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#4 Post by akronos » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:18 am

I have a complete honda d16a8 engine from rover 216 gti dohc, with complete loom and gearbox. It's possibile to do a swap?

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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#5 Post by GTiJohn » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:24 pm

Not heard of it being done before but it may be possible.

The D16 sits on the same side of the enginebay as the Honda 1.3 engine in the 213/Ballade/Civic which is the other side to this S-series. engine ancillaries, cooling, brakes and steering systems would be fun to do

But as these are so rare it would means losing one more.... :S
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#6 Post by akronos » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:59 am

I Think i'll buy soon! Are this car quick? There are some possibility to tune up this engine without swap?

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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#7 Post by GTiJohn » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:21 pm

akronos wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:59 am
I Think i'll buy soon! Are this car quick? There are some possibility to tune up this engine without swap?
Not especially....

There's not much tuning stuff out there as this was a short-lived engine. I'm sure it'll respond to the usual inlet, head and exhaust tuning. The exhaust has a very convoluted route across the back of the car.
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#8 Post by akronos » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:51 pm

Given the very low price I certainly take it. I would also like to buy a model of Rover (preferably not turbo), which is fast and snappy. I had thought of the 216 GTI 131cv, because it is the engine Honda, I think it is easy to find aftermarket accessories to tune it (or am I wrong?). And in Italy there's few old rover ....

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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#9 Post by GTiJohn » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:28 am

There's a big tuning scene for the Honda D16 engine, all the way up to turbocharging.

The K-series and M/T-series are worth a thought as they're quite tumble too.

Interesting :D
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#10 Post by akronos » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:30 pm

which swap it's possibile with SD3 )? Can i install a D16?

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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#11 Post by GTiJohn » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:46 pm

akronos wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:30 pm
which swap it's possibile with SD3 )? Can i install a D16?
You'll probably be rhe first person to find out!

But with these being so rare wouldn't it be better keep this one standard and tune a less-rare car?

In the end it's your money and your choice :D
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#12 Post by akronos » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:55 pm

I totally agree. But the swap would be reversible, the original engine kept it aside.

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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#13 Post by richard moss » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:19 am

The 216 Vitesse is a rare car - if I had one, I'd keep it standard.
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Re: ROver Vitesse 1989 Help

#14 Post by insightowner » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:45 pm

I also would not consider fitting a dohc Honda engine into a Rover 216 Vitesse.

Why ?

Because I have driven a 4-door, Japanese spec, 1984 Honda ciVic Si. A car totally similar to the SD3/Ballade but fitted with the 130 hp CRX engine. A total blast to drive. It took 3500 Euros for the owner to buy the car in Japan and to have it shipped to Rotterdam.

And then you have the South African Honda Ballade 160i. Also with the dohc 130 hp CRX engine but with other ammeneties like the standard Becker sound system, leather seats and those legendary pop-up headlamps. Fun fact: Made at the Mercedes Benz factory in East London, South Africa.

Because of these Honda-versions of the SD3, I would not consider a conversion but rather try and find one of those.

Even an original, british-made, Honda Ballade 1.5i would be more interesting than a converted Vitesse, imho.


If you want an original Rover 216 Vitesse, factory-fitted with a dohc Honda engine, then you have to go to Australia to find one. It was merely a rebadged mk1. Honda Integra and sold only in Australia/New Zealand from 1986 to 1988.
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