Rather than being a Rover V8 engine (which is no longer in production) the Rover 75 V8 uses a 4.6 litre Ford lump, mated to an automatic gearbox. Mounted in the nose of the Rover with its comfort biased chassis, it offers leisurely, relaxed performance more suited to high-speed cruising over long distances than a serving as a hard-core sports saloon.
With the chassis specially re-engineered the 75 V8 becomes rear wheel drive. It features a more comfort orientated set-up than the similarly powered MG ZT 260. It's not the ideal companion for rapid direction changes and will roll about if pushed, but traction control prevents it from getting too wayward. Point it at a long distance rendezvous and it becomes an ideal companion.
Feels quite special thanks to the charisma of the engine and the loaded specification. No other car offers quite the same blend of comfort and big V8 engine so its feel-good factor is rather unique. On the other hand, once on the move in the fast lane, it's little different to lesser models which cost considerably less (although that grill might help to clear traffic a little better).
The V8 delivers a charismatic engine note that whilst permeating the cabin, does not detract from the relaxing ambience afforded by the leather and wood interior. Rear seats are only really suited to two passengers and although the appointments are luxurious, that greatest of luxuries space is not overly abundant in the rear - this is not a car to buy if you plan on being chauffeured as the driver's seat is the best in the house.