Austin and MG Metro

Video clips in the playlist

1. Metro police car

2. Rare and unusual Metros

3. 1980s British TV advert

4. The sound of an MG Metro 6R4 rally car

5. Racing 6R4's vs. Opel Kadett

6. Driving an Austin Metro

7. Metro 6R4 video review by autocar.co.uk.


The metro in the TV advert clip looks just like the model I owned in the late 80's - same colour, too. Unfortunately,  I had to replace the gearbox at just 20,000 miles! I have to admit that my next car, a Citroen AX, was much more reliable and economical, although the interior looked a little cheap and plasticky.

The Metro was the car that saved British Leyland from going bankrupt. Many of its cars were severely dated, and this new "supermini" proved to be popular with the British public.

The car was launched in 1980 as the Austin miniMetro and a sporty MG Metro was launched in 1982. Built at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham for 18 years, the Austin name was dropped in 1987 and the Metro name was then dropped and  re-badged as a Rover in 1990.

The metro was the most popular small car in Britain in the early 80s and this was helped by the fact that it was economical, spacious (for its size) and handled the road well. I much preferred the design of the Metro to rival models such as the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, although Fiesta took the No.1 spot in 1984 as the UK's best-selling mini car.

Interestingly, the early 80s TV ad narrator talked of the Metro's ability to "send the foreigners back to where they came from" relating to its rivals such as the french Renault 5, Japanese Datsun Cherry and the German VW Polo. There is no way on earth that such an ad would be aired today, of course, and it shows just how much times have changed in today's PC world.

Red MG Metro Turbo 1989

Photo of a 1989 MG Metro Turbo at Bristol Car Show, The Downs, Bristol, England. Taken by Adrian Pingstone

MG Metro 6R4 rally cars
MG Metro 6R4 rally car