Model Page

Reliant Robin


1973 - 1981

1989 - 2002

Production Run:



1973 - 1988 - Tamworth (UK)

1998 Onward - Burntwood (UK)


Reliant 748cc 4 Cylinder

Reliant 848cc 4 Cylinder


748cc - 22 Seconds

848cc - 16.1 Seconds

Max Speed:

748cc - 80 Mph

848cc - 85 Mph

Designed by Ogle Design for the Reliant Motor Company, the Reliant Robin was manufactured in Tamworth, England. Following on from the successful Reliant Regal the car retained the traditional Reliant construction of a three wheel chassis mated to a fibreglass body shell, due to its size and weight the car could be driven by anyone with a B1 Motorcycle licence contributing considerably to its success.

Robin Reliant

Robin Reliant

The Robin was released in November 1973 and was the successor to the strong selling Reliant Regal, Ogle Design Ltd was responsible for the styling of the vehicle (code name TW8) having previously designed the three wheeled Bond Bug. The car was available as three distinct body styles namely a Saloon, Estate or Van. Several innovations were introduced on the car such as a rear opening window and the Robin was the first car not to have a rain strip running along the roof structure. Amazingly for a car of this size the vehicle was able to seat four adult comfortably, it was possible to fold down the rear bench seats to give the car a load capacity of 30 cubic feet making the car much more flexible.

The front wheel was used for steering, for simplicity power was transferred to the rear wheels through a manual four speed gearbox. Between 1973 and 1975 the Robin was equipped with a 748cc overhead valve four cylinder lightweight alloy engine (Aluminium Head and Aluminium block) that had a bore and stroke of 62.5 mm x 60.96 mm. The engine had a compression ratio of 7.8:1 and was fuelled through a single Zenith Carburettor, in this guise the unit developed 32 bhp @ 5,500 rpm and 38 lb/ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. The Robin 750 reached sixty miles per hour from rest in 22 seconds and was capable of a top speed of 80 Mph.

Reliant Robin Engine Bay

Reliant Robin Engine Bay

In 1975 the vehicle received a minor update benefiting from the installation of the larger 848cc Reliant engine, the enlarged engine utilised the same bore of 62.5mm but had an elongated stroke of 69.1mm – remarkably the engine only weighed 58 kg. The engine had an increased compression ratio of 9.5:1 and was now fuelled through a SU Semi Downdraught HS2 14 Carburettor, the engine developed 40 bhp @ 5,500 rpm and 46 lb/ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm. The 848cc engine was more powerful, more refined and proved more economical than the 748cc engine and test figures revealed that the car could achieve around 60 mpg at 50 mph, it was possible for 70 mpg should the driver coast at a constant 40 Mph. Just as importantly the performance of the car was significantly improved with the 0-60 Mph dash taking just 16.1 seconds and the car now having a top speed of 85 Mph.

The Robin used simple mechanicals, steering was of the Worm and peg variety and the car was available as a right or left hand drive dependent on requirements. The car used a leading arm suspension with a heavy duty coil spring and hydraulic suspension unit that connected to the front wheel, the rear suspension used semi elliptical double leaf springs with double acting hydraulic shock absorbers. The Robin was fitted with a 7” drum at the front and 7” drums on both rear wheels that were acted upon hydraulically whilst not power assisted the setup proved more than adequate for the application.

The Saloon and Estate Robins were made available as standard or Super Models. The Standard Robin featured most creature comforts and came equipped as standard with a glove box, full instrumentation including speedometer, temp and fuel gauge. The interior was fully carpeted with Black Ortan carpet and had matching seats. The Super Robin was identical to the Robin but was equipped with bumper over-riders and front and rear auxiliary lamps and twin chrome wing mirrors. Internally the car received black Ortan carpet with matching seats, an oil pressure gauge, battery condition indicator, a passenger sun visor and a fully carpeted luggage compartment.

Reliant Robin MK II

Reliant Robin MK II

By the late seventies, sales of the Robin were dwindling and in 1981 the car was discontinued being replaced by the Rialto, this did not signal the end of the Robins life however. In 1989 an all new Robin, the Mk II was released with Reliant looking to build on the previous success of the vehicle. The car featured a new body that was still manufactured from fibre glass, reacting to public demands the box chassis was now galvanised rather than painted giving much needed added corrosion protection this increasing the durability of the vehicles. The Mk II Robin can be easily identified by the single centrally located windscreen wiper, replacing the previous two windscreen wiper arrangement and the rear loading area of 40 cubic foot can be accessed via a complete hatchback. The Mk II Robin car was available as an LX or SLX models.

In 1998 a limited edition production run of 50 Robins were manufactured to signal the end of production at Reliant’s facility in Tamworth, each of these cars were luxuriously equipped receiving a full leather interior and other minor upgrades. Each car received an individual plaque on the dashboard with signalling the build number.

Reliant Robin MK III

Reliant Robin MK III

In 1999, Reliant launched the Mk III Robin, the vehicle received an updated body style, the body was a much more accomplished design and was brought up to date with new wrap around bumpers, a new grille and new headlamps. Further revisions included a new door design and new rear hatchback, the revised aerodynamics helped reduce the drag co-efficient and whilst using identical mechanicals the car was now capable of returning between 60 and 100 mpg. The exterior package was completed with chrome door handles, black wing mirrors, fog lights that were incorporated into the front bumper and alloy wheels. Reliant also revisited the interior cabin and the Robin was brought right up to date now receiving deep pile carpets, upgraded trim and a radio cassette player.

With sales dwindling Reliant decided to end production of three wheeled vehicles and to mark the occasion Reliant manufactured sixty five very special Robins and was called the Robin 65. The 65 featured full leather trim, a walnut dashboard, fog lamps, alloy wheels and a vehicle build number on a plaque placed on the dashboard. Each car was finished in metallic gold, upon completion of each vehicle the new owner of the car was invited to Reliant's factory to pick up the vehicle and meet the people that manufactured the car. Post February 2001 no further three wheeled vehicles were manufactured by Reliant.

Reliant Robin BN-1 Interior

Reliant Robin BN-1 Interior

On July 12th 2001, the Robin Reliant was officially re-launched, now know as the Reliant Robin BN-1 the car was now manufactured by B&N Plastics under licence to Reliant Motors. Based on the Robin 65 specification, the car still utilised the 850cc Reliant Engine, the same galvanised chassis and a mildly revised fibreglass body. The car did benefit from a overhaul of the rear axle and gearbox, the interior was not left unchanged and a new dashboard and completely new interior was installed – a major improvement was the addition of a pull handle on the interior door so owners no longer had to close the door by pulling the plastic bucket.

At the same time the Robin BN-2 was released, this car was finished in light reactive paint that changes colour dependent on the angle the paint is viewed from. This car featured electric windows and a CD player as standard.

Unfortunately various production issues resulted in the manufacture of the vehicles being put on hold in October 2002 and to this date production has not resumed.

The Facts


Reliant 750 4 Cylinder All Alloy Engine

Reliant 850 4 Cylinder All Alloy Engine


750 - 748 cc

850 - 848cc



Compression Ratio:

750 - 7.8:1

850 - 9.5:1

Fuel System:

750 - 1 x Zenith Carburettor

850 - 1 x SU Semi Downdraught HS2 14 Carburettor

Maximum Power:

750 - 32 bhp @ 5,500 rpm

850 - 40 bhp @ 5,500 rpm

Maximum Torque:

750 - 38 lb/ft @ 3,000 rpm

850 - 46 lb/ft @ 3,500 rpm


Reliant 4 Speed Manual

Top Gear:

17 Mph / 1000 rpm


7" Drum Front / 7" Drum Rear

Kerb Weight:

750 - 436 Kg

850 - 436 Kg

Max Speed:

750 - 80 Mph

850 - 85 Mph


750 - 22 Secs

850 - 16.1 Secs