Austin Ant

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Austin Ant aka ADO19 prototype of aborted Mini Moke replacement registered February 1969 1098cc.JPG

The Austin Ant (development code ADO19)[1] is a small four-wheel drive vehicle that was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis for the motor manufacturer Austin. Although the Ant is widely regarded as a military vehicle, some sources suggest it was conceived with civilian use in mind as well.[2] In its military role, it was a potential successor to the military version of an earlier Issigonis design, the Mini Moke.

The Ant was cancelled in 1968 before full-scale production began, during the period when BMC became part of the British Leyland (BL) conglomerate; the merger caused several overlaps in model ranges, and the Ant was regarded as too close a competitor for the Land Rover range.[3]

The Ant used an A-Series engine, transverse mounted and tilted slightly backward to allow greater ground clearance and suspension movement. The main gearbox was placed in the engine sump, as on the Mini. A reduction gearbox took power from the main gearbox to the rear axle via a propshaft. The same layout was used 30 years later (with a K-Series engine) on the Rover Group's Land Rover Freelander.


  1. ^ "ADO and other development codes". AROnline. 25 June 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Article "Ant Hill Mob" in Classic and Sports Car magazine, March 2007, published by Haymarket Publishing Ltd., United Kingdom
  3. ^ The unofficial Austin-Rover web resource; Austin Drawing Office numbers

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