Bache maintained that designers will come up with broadly similar cars for their intended markets given similar environmental
stimuli and resources, and was bourne out the fact that in the mid-1970s, we were presented with the Rover SD1, Citroën
CX, Lancia Gamma and Renault 20/30 – all six-light, fastback designs with wedge-shaped bodies and good attention to
aerodynamic detail. There was also the matter of the 1967 Pininfarina BMC 1800, which undoubtedly had a fair influence on these
cars. When speaking in an interview with Car magazine in 1982, Bache actually cited the Ferrari 250LM and 365GTB/4 Daytona as the
major influences on the SD1 - and this can certainly be seen in the style around the front end of the car; the headlights and
indicators are practically a facsimilie of the classic Ferrari's. Another feature that the SD1 shared with the Daytona was its
side swage lines, which managed to add practical as well as aesthetic benefits to the SD1: dirt kicked up from the road was caught
in the side creases and the upper flanks would therefore remain relatively clean – there would be no mucky hands when pulling
the door handles of the SD1!
With the exterior styling of the SD1 settled, Bache worked on the interior, which like the body styling was also a complete departure
from the P6. He moved to a more “industrial” design, forgoing the “wood and leather” ambience of the
“olde-worlde” P6 in favour of an almost stark, Germanic style. The dashboard and steering wheel were textured from soft-feel
plastics, a move which in itself was ahead of its time. The design of the dashboard was cleverly made symmetrical in order to facilitate
the assembly of both left- and right-hand drive cars. Throughout the interior, clever touches abounded: fully-adjustable steering column,
ample small storage areas including nifty under-dashboard lockers, folding rear seats, a removable parcel shelf and internally adjustable
door mirrors, to name but a few of these features. All taken for granted in this day and age, but back in 1976, a great leap forward in
interior ergonomics. Bache reasoned that he could make a feature out of the fact that the instrument cluster was a unit incorporated as
part of this symmetrical dashboard. It wasn't styled, as such, but was simply designed as a “box” with instruments in it,
parked on top of the dashboard in front of the driver.
Picture Information: Early SD1 poses for the camera: In red, the car looked magnificent, and it is not for nothing that David Bache
was quoted as saying, "Early clay mock-ups were put alongside cars like Maseratis and Ferraris. Despite the fact that it is a fully
practical saloon car and not a cramped grand tourer, it looked perfectly in keeping".