1982 in motoring
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1982 in motoring includes developments in the automotive industry throughout the year 1982 by various automobile manufacturers, grouped by country. The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells motor vehicles.
British Leyland announced the new Triumph Acclaim and Austin Ambassador. The Acclaim was a Ford Escort competitor that offered a new design to replace the Austin Allegro. The Acclaim was derived from the Japanese Honda Ballade. The Ambassador was a heavily reworked version of the Princess, with a hatchback bodystyle.
British Leyland also revived the MG marque, a year after the last MGB was sold. The MG Metro 1300 was a sporty version of the standard Austin hatchback with a 1.3L petrol engine which was capable of 100 mph. British Leyland also expanded the Metro range with the introduction of a Vanden Plas version.
The end of 1982 also saw the end of Austin Allegro production after a decade. It was replaced by the Maestro, which did not go on sale until the new year.
After 20 years on sale, for most of which it was the best selling car in Britain, the Ford Cortina ceased production. Its successor was the aerodynamic Sierra, a range of hatchbacks and estate car. Underneath, the Sierra differed little from its predecessor. 1.3, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.3 petrol engines were carried over from the Cortina although the car rode on a new rear wheel drive platform with independent rear suspension. There was the added option of a 2.3L diesel unit sourced from Peugeot and a 5 speed gearbox became available.
Citroën introduced a new medium-sized hatchback and estate range which replaced the long-running GS - the BX. It was aimed directly at the new Ford Sierra, and was designed to include plastic body panels which were designed to reduce corrosion and improve fuel economy. The engine range started with a 1.1 litre petrol, which was unusual in this size of car and was only to be sold in certain European markets. The BX range's top engines were 1.9 petrol and 1.9 diesel units (turbo and non-turbo). It was launched on the contintent in September 1982 but British sales didn't begin until the following summer.
Audi launched the 100, a saloon car with an aerodynamic bodyshell. The four-door saloon (no longer with a two-door variant) was joined by the five-door Avant estate car. Equipment levels on the 200 had specification levels comparable to the BMW 7 Series.
Volkswagen launched a heavily restyled Scirocco, though it maintains the original front-wheel drive chassis of the original 1974 MK1 Golf based model. The mechanical design and engines are very much the same as before, but the new bodyshell is substantially different.
Lancia launched the Prisma,a four-door family saloon. Based on the chassis of the Delta and Fiat Ritmo hatchbacks, it is nearer in size to cars in the Ford Sierra and Opel Ascona (Vauxhall Cavalier) sector. It uses the same mechanical design and engines as the Delta.
In September the Opel Corsa was launched, a small front-wheel drive hatchback. General Motors announced its intention to import the car to Britain from April 1983 as a Vauxhall, where it would probably replace the Chevette.
Nissan announced a front-wheel drive model in its Sunny range. The model was badged as a Datsun in Europe, and as the Nissan Sentra in America. A new entry-level model in the Nissan range was planned to go on sale the following year. The Cherry was re-positioned as a hatchback in the mould of the Volkswagen Golf, with 1982 seeing the Cherry's position in the supermini market filled by the Micra (sold as the March in certain markets), although the Micra will not be available to European buyers until the summer of 1983. Nissan also responded to the growing demand for front-wheel drive hatchbacks with its new Stanza, which was launched in Europe from January 1982 after going on sale in Japan towards the end of 1981.
Daihatsu announced the Charmant, a four-door saloon based on the then current Toyota Corolla. It was sold alongside the compact Charade, which competed with the likes of the Austin Metro and Ford Fiesta.