In the important: area of driver control, Rover have incorporated a number of advanced features into the new 800 Series. Power-assisted steering is fitted to all models, giving effortless and agile manoeuvring at low speeds, and a very direct feel at higher speeds. In addition, anti-lock braking, invaluable in helping the driver to maintain steering control
when braking hard, is standard on all Rover 800 models (except 820i and 825D, where it is available as an option). This is the latest-generation Bosch 2E electronic anti-lock braking system, superior to a number of other designs in that it provides full electronic sensing of all four wheels. A sensor mounted on each wheel constantly measures its speed,
and feeds this information to a central microprocessor control unit. The control unit compares wheel speeds, and detects variations under different conditions which could mean that the brakes are about to lock. If this happens the control unit instantly starts to regulate brake pressure, controlling it in a rapid on/off cycle which is barely detectable through the brake pedal. The Rover 800’s thoroughly engineered brake system features disc brakes front and rear, ventilated at the front. During manufacture, the discs are burnished with a diamond tool, in order to leave a perfectly smooth surface for optimum brake pad performance. An audible indicator alerts the driver instantly to brake pad wear. Driver
control in the new Rover 800 Series is enhanced by the ergonomic interior design. Contributing both to comfort and convenience, a powerful central processor controls a vast number of functions. For example, the electric windows and sunroof need only one touch of the button to close automatically, and are complemented by a ‘back-off’ system which reverses the direction if an obstruction is met during closing. The remote ‘lazy locking’ facility allows the car to be quickly and easily secured from outside. When the ‘lock’ button on the infra-red remote control is held down, the system first locks the doors, then closes windows and sunroof (except 820i and 825D) in sequence.
Convenience is combined with high levels of security. On every new Rover 800 model, an ultrasonic anti-theft alarm is fitted, arming automatically when the car is locked. This system senses forced entry by the opening of doors, bonnet or boot. The ultrasonic feature senses changes in air movement within the car, for example if a window is smashed. This part of the alarm, system can be disarmed if you wish to leave the windows open. The high security door locks feature strong lock shields and an anti-pick mechanism.
When unlocking, the car ‘wakes up’ to the unlock command by briefly turning on its courtesy lights. When locking, the lights flash twice to confirm that the car has been properly locked, whilst a mislock alarm sounds if doors, bonnet or boot are not properly closed. This built-in electronic intelligence provides many other benefits. For example, a courtesy delay allows the headlamps to remain on for a short period after you have left the car, giving useful illumination for opening the gate or garage door.
To avoid inadvertently dazzling other drivers by leaving the rear fog-lamps on, this function has to be reselected if the engine is switched off. A further useful refinement is the facility to operate the power seats for a short period after the ignition has been switched off; so if another driver has been using your car, you can conveniently re-adjust the seat before taking your place at the wheel. Electronic control also extends to the air-conditioning system (where fitted), which features Automatic Temperature Control. The system responds to strategically positioned sensors to maintain the cabin temperature at exactly the right level, without the need for continual readjustment.
Cruise control, a feature of the opulent Sterling models, is electronically controlled and also exceptionally easy to Operate, with the main switch functions located on a module mounted adjacent to the steering wheel centre pad.