The most talked about car of 1980 made its public debut amongst much media attention, the Austin Metro. Billed as the replacement for the ageing Mini which, despite first being seen in 1959 outlived both the Metro and earlier "replacement", the Clubman.
The Metro featured a smart, modern, three door hatchback body with revolutionary "split-folding rear seats" now a common feature. Mechanically the Metro made do with the front wheel drive A-series engine (now in A-plus format) and Hydragas suspension.
There were many variants of the Metro, including commercial, Vanden Plas and MG versions. The Metro moved with the changing faces of BL/Austin-Rover and later BMW owned Rover. Three and five door Metros were built and an improved family of engines were fitted in later Metro and "Rover 100" models.