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Austin Healey Sprite Images and Technical Specification



Austin A40 Black



In July 1978, the Princess was given a revamp and renamed the Princess 2. The main change was the replacement of the old 1800 cc B-Series engine with the new O-Series engine. The new engine was offered in two sizes: 1695 cc and 1993 cc. Since there was an 1800 cc tax barrier for company cars at the time, the 1700 cc O-Series engine was developed to take advantage of that, whilst the 2000 cc engine was developed for the private motorists who wanted something different from a Ford Cortina. As well as new engines, the Princess 2 also received a minor facelift. The Princess script was deleted from the grille and C-pillars, the boot lid lettering was changed (there were now two small badges at each side of the boot, which replaced the previous full width badge bar), new side repeater indicators were fitted to the front wings, the coachline continued past the wheel-arch, and the windscreen was now laminated. The entry-level L had chrome door mirrors and chrome wheel trims, while all the other models had satin black door mirrors and plastic wheel covers previously exclusive to the 2200 HLS, now with black rubber wheel nut covers instead of the solid chrome nuts. This was the total extent of the changes, bar some interior tweaks such as a black dashboard and centre console, wooden dash insert (not available on the L, which made do with a matte black dash insert). The graphics on the dials were also improved, the steering wheel had a new centre pad and the rim was covered in leather. Only the top-specification HLS had a radio fitted as standard, while all the other models had this as an optional extra (even on the models with no radio, there was still an aerial and a pair of speakers fitted!) However, despite the new engines, power was just about improved, and the six-cylinder 2200 cc version continued as before. The other main flaw was the lack of a hatchback body. Since the smaller Austin Maxi was a 5-door hatchback in its range of cars, BL saw no need to produce a bigger 5-door hatchback in the Princess range, despite the success of the larger Rover SD1. Neither of those two major flaws were ever addressed.

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