The Austin Ambassador wis a medium-tae-lairge hatchback introduced bi Breetish Leyland (BL) in 1982. The caur wis a heavily updated version o the Princess, an agein model which lacked a hatchback. Anerlie the doors an inner structure wur carried over, but the slightly wedge-shaped design betrayed the caur's Princess origins, an it wis na considered a truly new model.
Unlike the Princess, there wis nae 6-cylinder 2.2 litre version; the Ambassador wis initially offered in 4-cylinder 1.7 litre an 2.0 litre (single carburettor) variants, in "L", "HL" an "HLS" trims. Instead o the previous premium 2.2 litre models, there wur the HLS an later Vanden Plas trim levels, baith with a twin-carburettor version o the 2.0 litre engine. In 1983, the 2.0 litre HL wis upgraded tae also uise the more powerful twin-carburettor engine. A fower-speed manual gearbox (an automatic) wur the anerlie transmissions offered, with commentators citin the lack o a fift gear for the manual tranmission as ane o the caur's drawbacks.
The Ambassador wis na anerlie built in right hand drive an thus wis exported in continental Europe, at less in France, an few remain today — in Breetain, approximately 250 oot o 43,500. The quick succession o its replacement meant the caur anerlie ever serves as a stop-gap in the Austin range.
The Ambassador wis discontinued in 1984, with nae official replacement. The gap it left in the Austin-Rover range wis effectively filled bi the slightly smaller Montego, an bi the new generation o smaller Rovers.
|UK engine and trim options||L||HL||HLS||Vanden Plas|
|2.0 twin carb||✓||✓||✓|
Table o contents
Special versions[edit | edit source]
As with the Princess 'fore it, Ambassadors wur converted bi specialist coachbuilders intae hearse an limousine variants.
Parts bin components[edit | edit source]
The headlights wur shared with the Morris Ital. Ither minor components includin much o the interior trim wis also shared with ither BL products. Accordin tae Breetish Leyland, anerlie the front an door skins wur directly shared with the Princess.
Sales[edit | edit source]
The Ambassador achieved domestic sales o 43,427 in the twa years which it wis available. O these 43,427, anerlie aroond 250 ar thought tae be still on-the-road (although the number SORN is unkent). These sales figures however ar still somewhat slower than that o its successor, the Montego, which despite being hit bi strikes at Cowley an Longbridge remained a strong seller an achieved sales o 436,000, albeit over a langer era.
Media appearances[edit | edit source]
- A fleet o red Austin Ambassadors wis shown on a production line in a 1982 Not the Nine O'Clock News skit – all the actor employees on the line, includin Rowan Atkinson, wur kent as Bob. The end o the skit proclaimed "The BL Ambassador – Hand Built by Roberts"
- The Austin Ambassador wis the subject o the sang "My Austin Ambassador Y Reg" bi comedian Graham Fellows, in which he speaks o how great the caur is.
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