Leyland South Africa are fighting hard to ensure that they don’t go the way of the Australian offshoot of our nationalised car maker, who also face problems in Italy with a sharp manpower reduction at Innocenti. Just three weeks after they had launched a Marina 2 range, Leyland decided to dazzle an already crowded sector of the £1,600-£2100-price category with a four-cylinder 1750 arid a straight six 2600. These models will be looking for fleet owners as well as private families, and this gives Leyland their first chance for some time to compete in this section of the market, which accounts for 40% of all sales in that country.
Technically speaking the 2600 is a South African development of the E series engine is line begun with the 1500 Maxi in Britain, which is not expected here. Output is quoted its kilowatts (82 at 4,500 r.p.m.) which is said to be enough to shift the Marina from rest to 50 m.p.h. in 9 seconds. At which point it’s as well to remember that the 2600 is Only available in automatic form at. present.