Since I didn’t get to run them at FoS, instead you get a down to earth presentation. No insane Prototypes then.
One of them was retrospectively a pioneerIng vehicle, perhaps too far a head of its time to really be a great success. The Monolith Meteor was introduced in Febuary 1985, less than 18 months After Jeeps immensely influential XJ Cherokee. While the was no doubt that the XJ was a direct inspiration for the conceptualization, another was the Matra-Simca Rancho of 1977, arguably the first crossover SUV. The Meteor was the first Monolith to not be centered around straight forward utility, although certain trim levels of the original N-series and the 1960 M110 had featured many car-like comfort features.
The Meteor was built around the unibody Monolith V-250 van chassis. The V-250 was notable for being available with optional selectable four-wheel drive from 1981 onwards. The Meteor adapted its floor pan, but added additional Box sections for increased stiffness, and used independent rear suspension from the IMP Teuton IV. The body was quite similar to normal 4x4s of the time. A novel feature was full-time four wheel drive. First used on the Monolith M112 of 1975 it was now modified to fit a much smaller chassis, initially without locking differentials.
Three engines were available, a 1.6L Inline four petrol engine with fuel injection and 85hp, a 1.9L Inline three diesel with 65hp and the then new 2.5L inline four FA-25F with 140hp and standard catalytic converter. The Diesel was quickly replaced due to its Insufficient NVH, in its place came a 1.7L Inline 4 Turbodiesel from the IMP passenger car line with 75hp. In 1986 a viscous rear Limited Slip Differential became standard on the 2.5L and optional on the lower trims. Also added was the Meteor Sport, with a high-compression variant of the 2.5L engine and specially tuned Sachs shock absorbers.
The combination of a 170hp engine with all-wheel drive and relatively low weight of 1200kgs made the Sport an unusual performance vehicle, with a 0-60mph time of 6.8s and a top speed of 210kph.
The Meteor was not a massive success initially, but sales especially in the USA picked up substantially in the late 1980s, eventually reaching 300.000 units by the end of its production run in 1994.
1.6L SOHC 8V Inline 4 [IMP Z-116E], 85hp, 133Nm, 1063kg (1985-1990)
1.6L DOHC 16V Inline 4 [IMP ZR-16FQ] 101hp, 148Nm, 1102kg (1990-1994)
2.5L SOHC 16V Inline 4 [IMP FA-25F and FA-25FII] 140-155hp, 210-225Nm, 1167kg (1985-1994)
2.5L SOHC 16V Inline 4 [IMP FA-25E] 171hp, 235Nm, 1182kg, (1986-1989)
1.9L Inline 3 6V Diesel [IMP D319 S-V65] 65hp, 134Nm, 1134kg (1985-1986)
Meteor 170D Turbo
1.7L Inline 4 8V Turbodiesel [IMP D417 T-V75] 75hp, 169Nm, 1151kg (1986-1994)