During the Sixties, Rover had enjoyed considerable success with their P6 model. This car, along with the Triumph 2000 had basically created
the template for the middle management car: larger and more plush than family man's Morris or Ford, but not as grand as the director's
Daimler. In the prosperity of the Sixties, these two cars had carved up this new market between themselves and had both been profitable
ventures for Leyland. Both cars had been developed throughout their lives, the Triumph receiving a new and more aggressive Michelotti
“face” and an upgunned 2.5-litre engine; the Rover most successfully receiving the ex-Buick 3528cc V8 engine, in the process
becoming a car loved by the pushy young executive and the Police alike.
As Rover and Triumph were now part of Leyland cars, it seemed logical that both cars would need to be replaced by a single car. Devising
the best plan to achieve this, however, was not so straightforward. Rover and Triumph still operated separate management structures, possessed
separate drawing offices and were still fiercely competitive with each other. As detailed in "The Whole Story", the merger was taking
its toll on management, so the engineers and product designers were pretty much left to get on with things themselves.
Rover had been quietly working on some interesting projects, such as the P6BS supercar and the P8 “super saloon”, intended to
replace the P5 saloon, so oft-used as ministerial transport. Triumph were busying themselves with the gorgeous Stag and working on rationalising
the Toledo/1300 range. Development of a replacement for Rover's P6 and Triumph's 2500 only got underway in 1969, with each division working
on its own model.