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
As with the Princess 'fore it, Ambassadors wur converted bi specialist coachbuilders intae hearse an limousine variants.
Parts bin components
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.
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.
- 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.