Wednesday 8th October 1980
British Leyland launched the Mini Metro, designed to be a slightly bigger and more modern alternative to the Mini. Yet many of the Mini’s features were carried over into the Metro, namely the 998 cc and 1275 cc A-Series engines, much of the front-wheel drivetrain and four-speed manual gearbox, and suspension subframes. The Metro used the Hydragas suspension system found on the Allegro. The hatchback body shell was one of the most spacious of its time and this was a significant factor in its popularity. Initially, the Metro was sold as a three-door hatchback. For a brief period, 1980-1982, the Metro was seen as a desirable, even groundbreaking supermini. Sadly its reputation was tarnished by the high level of warranty claims due to quality control problems that should never have occurred in a car whose running gear dated, essentially, to the Fifties.