Austin Maestro Engine

Published by Carl Wilson on

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Austin Maestro Engine

The Maestro incorporated many novel and pioneering features for its class including a high tech engine system for its day. It had a bonded laminated windscreen, homofocal headlamps, body-coloured plastic bumpers, an electronic engine management system, adjustable front seat belt upper anchorage positions, an asymmetrically split rear seat, and a 12,000-mile (19,300 km) service interval. The MG and Vanden Plas versions had solid state instrumentation with digital speedometer and vacuum fluorescent analogue displays for tachometer, fuel and temperature gauges, trip computer and a voice synthesis warning and information system.

Later developments

The car was a reasonable success, but not as much as beleaguered BL had hoped. After the “boom” years of 1986 and 1987, Maestro sales went into terminal decline. The biggest problems centred around the 1.6 litre R-Series engine, which had been hurriedly transplanted from the Austin Maxi because the under-development S-Series engine unit was not yet ready for production. R-Series engine units suffered from hot starting problems and premature crankshaft failure.

The new S-Series engine eventually appeared in July 1984, and was fitted to all existing 1.6-litre Maestros. The new S-Series engine also came fitted with electronic ignition. At the same time, some minor equipment upgrades were made across the range. The 1.3 litre base model gained head restraints, a passenger door mirror and a radio. The 1.3 litre 1.3 HLE, 1.6 litre 1.6 automatic and 1.6 LS.

In October 1984, there were more equipment upgrades made across the range. The 1.3 engine and the 1.6 L base model gained reclining front seats, door bins, locking fuel filler cap and a clock. The L models gained cloth door trim, upgraded upholstery, and a remote-adjustable driver’s side door mirror. The MG Maestro gained an electronic fuel injected 115 bhp (86 kW) version of the 2 litre O Series engine.

Also in October 1984, the existing Maestro line up was joined by the 1.3 HL and 1.6 HL. These models fitted between the L and HLE models .At the same time as when the MG Montego was introduced (October 84), the MG Maestro EFi had been introduced. They shared the same two-litre fuel-injected engine.

MG Maestro 1600 (1983-1984) rushed into production against engineers’ advice at the launch in early 1983, the original MG Maestro was under developed. The MG Maestro 1600 with a 1.6 litre R-Series engine was in no way an extra model to make up the range, it was a new model in itself with a more powerful engine. The engine was a development of the E series unit, which had been fitted to the much maligned Maxi range, and now re-coded the -series. A long stroke engine, with a chain-driven overhead camshaft, it developed a good level of torque but was slightly spoiled by the fact that the MG version was fitted with twin dual-choke carburettors which were notoriously difficult to keep in tune, and hence made the low speed running of the engine rather uneven. Unfortunately, the uprating of the R-series engine was not wholly appropriate for a family saloon, and it soon gained a bad reputation for cutting out and poor starting when hot.

MG Maestro 2.0 EFi (1984-1991) After a brief interval, the MG Maestro was relaunched with a fuel injected 2.0 litre engine that gave considerably better performance than its predecessor.

Production History

ADO99 was the development project for the Austin Allegro replacement (Maestro), later it was given the designation LM10, and merged with project LM11(Montego). The LM10 Austin Maestro range was introduced in March 1983.

March 1983 The MG Maestro fitted with a 1598 R-series engine.

July 1984 The new S-series engine was introduced.

October 1984 Maestro Efi introduced, fitted with the 1994cc ‘O’ series engine.

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Carl Wilson

You won't believe it, I'm native Scotsman. Enthusiast. Car lovers. Almost finished rebuilding my Reliant Saber 🔥

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