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Old 20th March 2017, 19:29   #1
2750 HP
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Default Rover 'T' series engine

Hello: I ran a 1998 Rover 800 Vitesse Coupe from 2001 to 2008 - great car and very good looking to boot. The engine delivered 200 bhp and was ultra reliable despite my high miles. It was replaced by a ZT CDTi.

I am curious why such a good engine was not installed in the 75 /Zt range as in my opinion it was the pick of the bunch, petrol engine wise. Was it because of emissions, didn't fit or simply thought too old?

Thanks for any replies.
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Old 20th March 2017, 20:12   #2
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I'm pretty sure it was down to emissions. T series was a great engine, but the emissions weren't/aren't so great.

Size definitely wasn't an issue. If you can fit a mustang V8 in the engine bay, a T series wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 20th March 2017, 22:38   #3
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Terrific engine though apart from the oil leaks. And sound amazing on boost.
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Rover 75 2.0 CDT Connoisseur SE 116 (160 remap)
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This vehicle was the 50,481st 75 to run off the production line, out of 112,381
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Old 21st March 2017, 16:45   #4
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Rover needed a lightweight engine for their new mini - the metro. Hence the k series. Not long after they decided to enlarge it to 1600 for the 200 and 400, and with a long stroke crank to 1800. Big mistake in my opinion, but there we are. The enlargement of the block, crank, head would have cost a small fortune, but imagine - what an engine that would have been! Instead we got con rods at extreme angles, pistons without enough metal between the top and gudgeon pin, and liners too thin for sustained abuse. Damn shame.
Given that they had a relatively powerful lightweight engine, which was probably a lot cheaper to build, why would they continue developing the cylinder head on the t seies? It has some poor design features - the included angle of the valves ( a throwback to the dolomite sprint if I recal?), large valve stem diameters (also dolly sprint and mini), a lot of water jacket, no vvc, oh and some oil leak issues sometimes.
They really should have kept it for the turbos though in my opinion.
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Old 21st March 2017, 19:46   #5
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From memory my 800 Vitesse had no oil leaks nor use oil. It had done 180,000 miles when it went for scrap in August 2008 of which i had done 130,000 miles in 7 years. I cannot recall ever having a problem with the engine - full service history right to the end but other things started to cost a bit. Lovely looking car in coupe form
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Old 21st March 2017, 20:42   #6
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Yes they didnt all leak oil. 800 coupe nice car too, still some nice ones about.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 04:11   #7
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The T Series was dropped due to emissions - a shame, as I really like it. A good solid powerplant.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 04:50   #8
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Agreed. Considering the 800 version of the 2.5 kv6 was the replacement which was as reliable as a politicians promise.

I maintain the emissions story was pure rubbish, with modern cats even in the late 90s, ecu controls, vnt turbos and injection systems being far more advanced than even the 220 coupe nearly 6/7 years before I feel the engine should have appeared in the 75 and zt range.

I always felt a turbo charged petrol engine was sorely lacking in the cars range, yes the 1.8t is ok power wise, but when you compare a t series in the likes of a 620ti, the 75 range suddenly feels VERY slow.

A 620ti is typically 1365kg and a 190 zt is typically 1450kg (basic car), so a 620ti has nearly 85 kgs instantly.

Admitting its down about 20 foot pounds of torque (talking the 200 bhp version here btw, not the 220 version), however its peak torque at 2000rpm and flat power until 5k, a kv6 isnt hitting peak torque until 4000rpm.

No it was definitely a foolish move not to have such an engine in the range.

IMO the petrol engine range should have been as follows on our cars

1.6 NA 130 (tax buster version, eg 1549cc from the mgf with a few tweeks and 135 cams, and dare I say it unique gearing to balance towards engine power output)
1.8T 175 bhp
kv6 3.0 (not 2.5) - 200ish bhp and a lot more torque from large capacity (gentlemans cruiser)
2.0t series - 190bhp and a 240bhp version (two power ranges)
kv8 - 300bhp

Diesel should have always been G series but again BMW made sure they would have the license when they pulled away.

And worst of all, the auto gearboxes lacked triptronic option, the same boxes featured in the Freelander for example, which was developed by rover, so honestly it would have transformed peoples perception of a luxury product.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 07:10   #9
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It's odd as on paper the t has better fuel economy than the v6. My bubble 400 turbo I had was far far better on fuel with shed loads more go than my wife's old zs180. Granted emissions percentage wise may have been worse but actual volume must have been better than the v6 as it used less?. I don't understand the emissions setup. In my eyes if it develops more power and uses less it has to be more efficient and hence less emissions. As said a good ecu would have sorted the emissions to government standards. The engine can handle so much abuse running weak on cruising for emissions would ha e been easy.

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Old 22nd March 2017, 08:04   #10
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Default Like so many good "Brit" products, T-Series under estimated from day one.

Like some here on this thread have already mentioned, not using the T-Series was a decision taken during Bavarian overall control. Emissions is a non issue. Foreign ownership control and clever accounting which meant the K-Series was not improved as it has since been under Chinese ownership and an unstressed 200bhp T-Series in a 75 would show the similar cars in the BMW range for what they are.

As much as I like driving my ZT 1.8Ts, it is still a joy to get into my now less used Rover 620ti as I had to do a couple of days ago. Because needing to tow-recover my non-starter ZT-T 1.8T stranded at a Shell Garage after a fill up during darkness. Later revealed one of the Connections on the Starter Solenoid had become detached. Previously, it had just been resting on the terminal and refitting that securely next day in the daylight, immediate start ...
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