According to the Daily Telegraph the new Rootes small car due to be announced early this year and built in Renfrewshire, will be called the Imp, will cost under £500 and be capable of 90 m.p.h.! The engine, of Coventry-Climax origin, is quoted having a capacity of 875 c.c. and being in the rear of the car. Tyre size is quoted provisionally as 12 in. Output is cited as 125 a week by the middle of this month, 1,250 a week by mid-summer and 3,000 a week by the autumn, the target being 150,000 a year, of which it is hoped to export 75,000.
The reader who sent us this cutting comments that a car faster than a Mini-Cooper selling for less than £500 should cause a fluttering in insurance dovecotes, especially as it is rear-engined. He observes that the Observer’s poll showed that only 10% of drivers want a rear-engined car, which, he remarks, means that Rootes are not providing what the majority want. Such comment arises from trying to keep secret an exciting new car that has been in existence for a considerable time, Motor Sport is content to wait and see, sincerely hoping, meanwhile, that the new baby conceived in such secrecy will prove to be a winner able to inject new life blood into the Rootes Group.—W. B.