Looking from the outside, one can't see its revolutionary technology. It's innovations have partly asserted themselves in the entire motor vehicle technology. It was in fact, the first mid-size car with a large tailgate (followed by the Austin Maxi). At that time almost all its competitors had a conventional notch-back with a boot. It had contributed to the situation today, where even the luxury class offers a large, variable and easily accessible luggage space.
Under the bonnet there is a sort of mid-engine construction. Have a good look at the engine. The belt-drive above the flywheel is unusual, normally one would imagine it to be on the other side. Indeed, this engine is shown from the front, i.e. the final drive is in front of the engine and the gearbox is even further to the front. Thus the engine lies practically behind the front axle, which is why the belt-drives had to be moved to the flywheel side. Otherwise they couldn't have been mounted. Imagine the possibilities, if one could combine this construction design with the normally, flat-shaped bonnets of today, under which, at that time, there was even space for the spare wheel.
Some of the details in this car are somewhat different, without really having cost much more money. Thus, the engine, exactly like most of its contemporaries, is controlled by an OHV camshaft-assembly. Indeed, to keep the mass of the valve-drive as low as possible, the camshaft was situated as high as possible in the engine-block. The cooling system boasted a glass compensation reservoir, thus despite having a positive-pressure regulation, it did not need to be replenished. In addition, it had an electrically driven fan on the radiator. The aluminium engine-block was probably more expensive and only decades later, would it be taken over as the standard for general engine construction. The bright, full sound was typical for this engine. One further advantage, apart from weight-saving, were the replaceable, wet cylinder sleeves.
Disadvantages? Not really, at least not as far as driving it was concerned. As a mid-engine car, the independent suspension chosen could even be rather comfortable. This would also be maintained for the more sporty versions. Moreover, the well upholstered seating fitted in well with the really remarkable heating- and ventilation system and the tolerable interior noise. All in all, one could only give positive testimony as far as the mechanics were concerned. Were there really no disadvantages? There were indeed, in fact, one essential disadvantage, perhaps even a decisive one. A number of the attractive examples, was simply eaten away by rust.
It's a pity, that the workmanship sometimes wasn't quite up to the high standard of the German competition of the time, this wasn't valid for its appearance at all. There was one peculiar aspect that we haven't yet mentioned, there was a 60 mm length difference between the left and the right wheelbases. Indeed, would you have thought, that even the edges of the bumpers, which reached around up to the wheel-housings, showed the same difference in length? 02/15