The Austin X6 Kimberley and Tasman were engineered in Australia to replace the locally manufactured Austin 1800. Their names presumably chosen to emphasise their Australian origin - the Kimberley Mountain range runs across the center of the country through Alice Springs, and the Tasman Sea separates Australia and New Zealand.
Although the Austin 1800 was not considered a
sales flop in Australia when measured against its BMC stablemates, its average of
10,000 sales per year posed little threat to the
market dominance of the 6 cylinder Holden & Ford.
BMC made no secret that it created the X6 series to break into
the 6-cylinder family car market. Production began in Sydney late in 1970
and the car was well received by the Motoring press. Unfortunately it was
plagued by quality issues.
In an attempt to turn the
situation around, an improved Mark 2 version was released early in 1973
only to be discontinued later that year to make way for the final attempt
to rival Holden & Ford - the P76, a conventional rear wheel drive 6
& 8 cylinder sedan.