Timeline 1975 – 1984
March 1975: Austin, Morris and Wolseley 18-22 Series 4-door saloon launched in UK. All models share same unitary body shell with transverse engines, front wheel drive and Hydragas suspension. Two engine sizes available, 1800cc 4-cylinder B-series and 6-cylinder 2200 E-series. Wolseley only available with 6-cylinder and luxury trim.
September 1975: Austin, Morris and Wolseley names dropped and range renamed Princess; 1800 4-cylinder models have twin headlamp arrangement, 2200 6-cylinder models have trapezoidal headlamps. New 2200HLS version replaces Wolseley. Humped bonnet version deleted.
April 1976: Cloth seats on HL models (previously optional) now standardised.
March 1977: Princess Special Six Automatic launched. Based on 2200HL but fitted with HLS seats, wooden dash, rear courtesy lights and full length Webasto sunroof. Only available in Black and limited to 1200 units.
July 1978: Princess 2 models introduced, with one major change. OHV B-Series 4-cyl engine dropped, in favour of new overhead cam O-series engine, in two sizes, 1,695cc and 1,993cc. Six-cylinder engine carried forward, as before. No major style changes, but trim and decorative differences.
January 1979: 2200HL model discontinued, but 2200HLS continued unchanged.
May 1979: New 1700HLS and 2000HLS derivatives of basic 1700/2000 models introduced, with same trim and decoration package as 2200HLS.
October 1980: Trim and decorative changes to basic Princess 2 design, but no major mechanical changes.
November 1981: Princess models phased out of production, in favour of Austin Ambassador range, based on existing Princess body and chassis layouts.
March 1982: Austin Ambassador 5-door hatchback range launched in UK. Same basic body style as Princess but with new front styling, new interior design and a rear tailgate. Engines carried over from Princess range but 2200 engine deleted. Available as 1.7L, 1.7 and 2.0 HL, HLS and 2.0 Vanden Plas.
May 1983: Trim upgrades to all models. VP receives burr walnut door cappings and dash insert to bring specification into line with other VP Austin Morris cars. Rear seat belts and electric windows now standard on VP models
March 1984: Ambassador range deleted in favour of conservatively styled, all new, Austin Montego range.