THE AUSTIN MOTOR COMPANY
Issued by the Press and Public Relations Office.
The British Motor Corporation Ltd, PO Box 41. Longbridge, Birmingham.
Telephone: Birmingham, Priory 2101 extensions 41-392.
RELEASE DATE: Confidential until Tuesday, 13 October 1964.
BMC ANNOUNCE THE AUSTIN 1800 - A NEW CONCEPT IN FAMILY MOTORING
Spacious Saloon of Compact Dimensions with Transverse Engine and Hydrolastic Suspension
Luxury car standards of roominess and riding comfort within an overall length of under 13 feet 9 inches. These are just two of the outstanding characteristics of a brilliant new family car announced by the British Motor Corporation. The Austin 1800 also offers silent, high speed cruising with 90 mph maximum, unsurpassed road holding and cornering powers, excellent luggage space, and built in safety and longevity from what is probably the strongest body shell ever planned for quantity production.
Designed by Alec lssigonis, the new '1800' follows the basic design conception of the BMC Mini and '1100' models with transversely mounted engine and transmission unit, front wheel drive and Hydrolastic suspension with "a wheel at each corner". However, this world renowned design is now combined with a standard of refinement and additional engineering innovations, which provides a new concept of medium sized family car. It does not, incidentally, replace any model in the existing Austin range.
PROVIDING SPACE FOR COMFORT
Although the Austin 1800 is over 9 inches shorter than an Austin A60 - itself a car of modest overall length at 14 feet 6.5 inches (4.43 metres) - the interior body and seat dimensions exceed those of cars of considerably greater external dimensions. The rear seat width at 56 inches will accommodate 3 large adults with ease, with more than the usual amount of leg room.
The biggest single factor in achieving such roominess, of course, is the 'east-west' engine location, which gives 70% of the car's length as passenger and luggage accommodation. But other ingenious features also contribute. A large tubular cross member which braces the body shell below the scuttle is also employed to house the front horizontally located Hydrolastic suspension units. Further space is saved by positioning the rear Hydrolastic units horizontally beneath the car, in the recess provided by the rear seat platform. This increases the storage space available for spare wheel and fuel tank, resulting in larger boot space. At the same time the smooth contours of the rear end of the car give maximum interior width to the boot, which has a capacity of 17 cubic feet (0.48 cubic metres). There is no intrusion into the boot space by the fuel tank or spare wheel both these items being mounted under the floor.
Additional convenient storage space is available for the impedimenta which most enthusiastic drivers like to carry reflecting the fact that the BMC senior engineers themselves have 'lived with the car' during a substantial part of its development. Such items as maps, books, document cases, gloves, etc can be swallowed easily by the rigid door pockets, yet remain conveniently to hand. Umbrellas, cameras, handbags and the like can be carried on the full width parcel shelf below the fascia, while the rear window shelf offers no less than another 5¼ square feet of space for such things as hats, rugs, etc.
A high input fresh air system allows a large amount of fresh air to be brought into the car with the windows shut. Complete control over its warmth and direction of flow can be gained by joint use of the heater-demister and the independently supplied adjustable (for direction and flow) air grilles at each side of the fascia. This system is so efficient that it has been possible to dispense with the usual quarter windows on the front doors, thereby achieving further reduction in wind noise at speed.
The 1798 cc, 4 cylinder, OHV engine, has a 5 bearing crankshaft, delivers a smooth 84 bhp at 5,300 rpm.
It drives via a gear train, a 4 speed gearbox with baulk-ring type synchromesh on all forward gears.
A new design of engine mounting combined with the use of control cables instead of the more usual rods linking the gearbox to the gear lever helps to insulate the car interior from all engine noises, contributing to a quiet high-speed cruising performance.
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
The now famous Hydrolastic suspension system is employed. With liquid filled rubber suspension units, (self-damping) inter-connected front to rear, a remarkably level ride is obtained coupled with superb road holding. No attention is needed, the system being sealed for life.
Continuously self adjusting, the 9" diameter front disc brakes, combined with equally large rear drum brakes, provide adequate stopping power for the car's 90 mph performance.
The 'G-sensitive' valve in the hydraulic system reduces the possibility of locking the rear wheels during emergency braking.
BUILT TO LAST
In employing the stiffest structure ever used for this category of family car, the designers have aimed not only at safety, but also at increased longevity and freedom from distortion and rattles over a huge mileage.
In conclusion it may be said that the advanced design and quality of engineering inherent in the new '1800' is such that it is confidently expected to carry on the tradition of longevity established so convincingly by Lord Austin in pre-war days. In fact, it is unlikely that the model will be obsolete even in 10 years time and the life for any given car should be not less than 150,000 miles.
Hence owners will have the additional benefit of a low rate of depreciation.
SPECIFICATIONS IN BRIEF
* Engine: Water-cooled, OHV 4 cylinder mounted transversely. Five bearing crankshaft. Engine in unit with clutch, gearbox and final drive. Bore 3.16" (80.26 mm); stroke 3.5" (88.9 mm). Cubic capacity 109.75 cu in (1,798 cc). Compression ratio 8.2:1.
Maximum bhp 84 (net) at 5,300 rpm. Maximum torque 99 lbs. ft at 2,100 rpm.
* Fuel System: SU carburettor, type HS4 SU electric fuel pump.
Tank capacity 10.75 imperial gallons, (48.8 litres).
* Gearbox: BMC 4 speed, all synchromesh, cable operated from remote floor-mounted gear lever.
Top 4.188:1 3.882:1
Third 5.794:1 5.371:1
Second 9.285:1 8.609:1
First 13.783:1 12.779:1
Reverse 12.875:1 11.936:1
Top gear mph per 1,000 rpm, 16.62 (17.93 an alternative ratio of 3.882:1).
* Suspension: Independent all round, Hydrolastic displacers inter-connected.
* Brakes: Hydraulic, servo-assisted, 9" diameter front discs, 9" diameter rear drums.
* Steering: Rack and pinion, 4.4 turns lock to lock.
Wheelbase 8 feet 10 inches
Track - front 4 feet 8½ inches
Track - rear 4 feet 7½ inches
Overall Length 13 feet 8 3/16 inches
Overall Width 5 feet 7 inches
Overall Height (unladen) 4 feet 7½ inches
Ground Clearance (laden) 6½ inches
Turning Circle 37 feet between kerbs
Kerb Weight (unladen + half tank petrol) 2 535 lbs.
(22.6cwt or 1,149.85 kg)