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Austin Maestro

Austin Maestro

Take yourself back to February 1983, you are a leading journalist and sitting on your desk is a parcel, you open it up to find this ring binder inside......

Austin Rover Group Maestro Launch Catalogue















Not for Publication until 1st March 1983


Innovation, advanced technology, aerodynamic style, versatile packaging and exceptionally low running costs are the hall­marks of the Austin Rover Group's exciting new Maestro, a compact, five-door, front-wheel-drive hatchback which, by virtue of a specification which transcends the traditional sector split, will forge a broad arrow into the medium sector market.

Maestro's seven model range, from a 1.3 litre standard model to a sporting 110 mph plus MG 1600, is designed to capture sales from both the lower medium and upper medium sized cars in the middle ground of the new car market, a section which accounts for 60 per cent of all new car sales in the UK.

Maestro's advanced specification and wide appeal will push the Austin Rover Group firmly into contention in the medium sector and is essential to the company's forward profitability plan, promising a favourable increase in market share.

Outstanding technological features incorporated in Maestro include:

  • Microprocessor controlled Engine Management package incorporating electronic fuel control and breakerless ignition
  • Solid state electronic instrumentation
  • Voice synthesis
  • Body colour, integrated moulded bumpers

 Austin Maestro Press Information

  • Flush glazing
  • Homofocal headlamps
  • White light front indicator lamps
  • Low rolling resistance economy tyres
  • Aerodynamically efficient shape

This remarkable combination of advanced features helps to position the Austin Rover Group firmly amongst industry leaders in technology.

Maestro the Computerised Car

Electronic Engine Management on Maestro's carburetter engines gives the efficiency benefits of electronic fuel injection with­out the cost.

An on-board microprocessor avoids fuel wastage by controlling an automatic choke to meter the exact engine condition and control the mixture accordingly, by cutting off fuel on de­celeration and, by means of an electronic idle speed control, by reducing engine idle speed.

High energy breakerless ignition is included in the management package for improved efficiency and for consistency in service.

This unique Engine Management system is fitted to all Maestros except the high performance MG.

Austin Maestro Press Information

Maestro the Talking Car 

Maestro is the first European built volume production car to offer voice synthesis as standard equipment.

Maestro actually talks to the driver, asking him or her politely, in a calm, female voice, to "Please fasten your seatbelt", or to warn of abnormal running conditions like "Handbrake on".

The 32-word voice synthesis unit supplements the electronic instrument pack and trip computer of the Vanden Plas and MG Maestro by monitoring selected operating functions and providing audible warnings when necessary. It is available as an option on some other models.

The advanced, solid state electronic instrument system has no moving parts-other than for the mileage recorder and has a processing capacity about twice that of an advanced home computer system.

Vacuum fluorescent displays are used for speed, engine revs, temperature and fuel tank contents.

The display can be converted to and from mph to kph by the push of a button.

Then move forward to September 2021

Oxford Diecast announces that the new 1:76 scale Maestro will join the range.

  Oxford Diecast Austin Maestro 76MST001 Design Cell

 A car much requested with over 600,000 manufactured.

Oxford Diecast Austin Maestro CAD 1:76 Scale

 Oxford Diecast Austin Maestro CAD

Early CAD Data for the Austin Maestro

We estimate first shots will be around late 2021 - I will keep you updated as we progress, until then it's back to 1983!!!


Back to 1983 Launch Pictures

Austin Maestro Launch Picture 1983 - Oxford Diecast Blog from Taff

Austin Maestro Launch Picture 1983 - Oxford Diecast Blog from Taff

Austin Maestro Launch Picture 1983 - Oxford Diecast Blog from Taff

Austin Maestro Launch Picture 1983 - Oxford Diecast Blog from Taff

Austin Maestro Launch Picture 1983 - Oxford Diecast Blog from Taff



Previous article Land Rover Discovery 1 - Development Update
Next article Oxford Land Rovers and Range Rovers at 1:76 scale.


Bill - October 10, 2021

To add to my previous post about my Maestro 1.6, I was going to give my sister-in-law to be, a lift in it. She pulled the door handle and it came off in her hand. She was slightly more impressed when I was able to push the handle back on again, and open the door.
Despite it’s misdemeanors, I still have fond memories of that car. By the way, although the make was Austin, it only had “Maestro” badges on it, as I believe that Austin Rover felt that identifying the car as a British Austin would put people off buying it. (!)
Good tourquey engine, would cruise at reasonably high speed and last car I owned with a carburetor. (SU HIF44). I’ve just found the Haynes manual I used when I had the car, and it has an MOT certificate stuck inside – Oct 27, 1998, car new in 1987, and mileage 156653 – went on beyond that to around 164K I think.
I’m up for the 1:76th models for my railway, again a 1:43rd (or 1:24th!) would also be just great.

David Lynn - October 10, 2021

I used to get various basic spec Maestros allocated from the pool car fleet in the mid-late 1980s. They were generally fine and easy and comfortable enough for my motorway-munching trips, but we then got a batch of the non-turbo diesels which were appallingly bad and felt like tractor motors – the worst engine I ever came across during two decades of being allocated whatever was available from the pool or rentals.

Mac Parker - October 10, 2021

I had an early 1600 MG (BHN 1Y) which proved to be a great little car running for thousands of miles with no problems. My second 2 lit MG bought in early 1989 was unfortunately stolen after only a few weeks and written off by the perpetrators, who were never caught; so I had very little chance to enjoy this one.

Robert - October 10, 2021

I owned the maestro van it was two tone blue and cream it was a brilliant work vehicle I’ve own 7 vans since I past my test in 1983
Mini van
Bedford cf van
Maestro van
Reliant van
Escort mk1 & mk2 van’s
Transit lwb van

Ben Marshall - October 10, 2021

I remember the Maestro well. A friend at schools dad had an MG version. My dad had an XR3i so much debate was had, about who had the fastest car. The maestro was more powerful but the Escort was faster.
When we think of hatches today, they only come with 5 doors, the maestro was a leader in the market.
I work on the buses and recall a colleague having a very late diesel version. Also on a route near Cleckheaton a red TURBO version is driven about. Let’s not forget this rare (&. Lamborghini fast) car based on the sister Montego turbo. Great article.

Bill - October 9, 2021

Had a two tone targa red/gunmetal grey 1600 maestro with sunroof. Very good visibility, comfortable seats for long runs. Most practical car I’ve ever owned, kept it for 11 years and 164k miles. It caught fire once due to faulty wiring loom, put out by fire brigade, went on for a few more years. Worst fault, rot under windscreen. 1:43rd model as well, please.

Ian Thurley - October 9, 2021

One of my school friends learned to drive in his Dad’s MG Maestro. The one with the fuel computer and irritating voice-over. Endless trouble, replaced after 2 years by a Renault, despite having been a Maxi man throughout the 70’s.
Nevertheless I’d love to see the Maestro in 1/43 – along with said Maxi – and a Montego too (a better car but a real rust bucket)

Chris Pryor - October 9, 2021

We had one, an 84 1.3 poverty spec model bought in 1986. Zircon blue. Steel bumpers, no rear wash wipe, fixed seats, no radio.

Not a bad car, roomy comfortable and usually economical.*

Had it for a few years.

However….. its electronic control systems were beyond the understanding of Leyland mechanics. It used, mid journey, decide that it was cold and effectively pull the choke out. Burnt a fair bit of extra petrol.

Later in its life it would, on starting, decide it was overheating. Solution – take the bulb out.

It could do something that few other cars could do.. cold face, warm feet.

Looking forward to the model.

Stephen Barnes - October 9, 2021

Great news, but how about in 1:43 scale too?
Both maestro and montego in MG version would be the icing on the cake 😍

David Elliott - October 9, 2021

Looks like going to be a great model, how about more model 1.43 police vehicles

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