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Reliant Kitten (1975 - 1982)

With very similar thoughts in mind as when Reliant launched the Rebel, a new economy 4 wheeler called the Kitten was launched at the 1975 Earls Court Motor show along side a revised version of the Scimitar GTE.  Designed by Ogle design, the FW10 as it was known would use far more common parts with its 3-wheeled brother the Robin , indeed Initial prototypes looked very much like just a Robin with an extra wheel, however the final production model had modern rectangular lights, a new black grille, and black rubber bumper covers. The rear of Kitten saloon was identical to the Robin but had its own distinctive look thanks to ABS air vents on the side windows and the rubber bumper. The estate version had GTE style upswept rear windows, again with ABS air vents, and whilst it shared the Robin side opening rear door, the full width rear bumper gave it a look of its own. A rear wash wipe was fitted as standard.

The Kitten was not going to be under powered as a new 40 BHP 850 cc version of the Reliant all alloy engine with a new SU Carburettor was fitted. This would give the Kitten a top speed of 80 MPH and fuel economy of 60 MPG. At launch the Kitten was available as a saloon and estate. It was fitted with either black or brown cloth reclining front seats,Robin door cards, the dash was also the same as a Robin but had a different centre console with a much longer gear stick as the engine was mounted further forward on the all new chassis. The front suspension had a Reliant designed double wishbone arrangement with tie bars and a front anti roll bar. The steering was rack and pinion and had a turning circle better than a London taxi at 24 feet.

In October 1976 a revised model called the Kitten DL was launched in Saloon and Estate versions, they had a new interior, with Scimitar style Door cards and new fabric seat covers, reel inertia front seat belts and revisions to the suspension and front anti roll bar making the car handle and ride better.

January 1977 saw the launch of the 6 CWT Kitten van. The van could be supplied with or without a passenger seat so had a load capacity of between 43 and 53cubic feet. Whilst the van was based on the Kitten estate it had round headlights making it look very similar to the Robin and the first prototype. The front seats were vinyl. A number of Kitten vans ended up with windows fitted as it was cheaper to buy than the estate model.

The Kitten was more successful than the Rebel and when production finally ceased in 1982 they had sold 4551 vehicles.

Kitten DL

Kitten DL saloon

Kitten Estate

Kitten estate

The FW10 didn't finish in 1982, visitors to the 1982 NEC Motor show saw for the first time the Reliant Dolphin finished in a rather splendid metallic gun metal silver next to similar coloured Rialto, Fox, Lucas Hybrid,Scimitar GTE and a Scimitar GTC Turbo. The Dolphin was a CKD kit that was exported to India by Reliant to Sipani Autos the only real difference being a slightly different front grille. The Dolphin did not enjoy huge success due to only having 2 doors and although an heavier 5 door model called Montana was produced. Production of the Dolphin ceased in 1990.

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