CONSIDERING the number of customers who signed on the dotted line for the Rover 216i Cabriolet without so much as a test drive, it would be an understatement to classify the car's Hongkong launch as an unqualified success. To Rover's credit, it has successfully managed to give each of its offerings an individual appearance, which is particularly true of the 200 series. Rover sales are set to get another boost from the latest addition to the line - the ferocious yet fetching 220 Turbo Coupe. Crouched as if to pounce on any unsuspecting Mazda MX-6s or Nissan 200 ZXs that might wander into its territory, the mid-sized sports coupe has an air of agility due to the stylish tapering of its low-slung extremities. The lines of the 220 Turbo do not just please, they beckon. Inspired lower-body treatment, borrowing from the ''ground-effects'' school of styling, provides a menacing air and the swept-back roof antenna conspires with a serious-looking rear spoiler to complete the battle-ready appearance. The Rover's interior carries some neat touches which hark back to the days of the ''traditional'' British sports car. Burr walnut decorates the fascia and fine piping graces the high quality leather seats. A lovely leather-bound wheel sits in front of large, easy-to-read instruments, and switches for electric windows, locks and mirrors fall easily to hand. As well as air-conditioning, an impressive alarm and engine immobilising system, and infra-red remotedoor-locking are standard. When you wish to get that true open sports car feel, one or both of the heat-reflective glass roof panels can be tilted or removed. Rover claims the 220 Turbo Coupe can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 240 km/h. The transverse two-litre, double-overhead camshaft, 16-valve engine sits snuggly under the bonnet. For those who appreciate such things, it is a visual treat - attractive matt-black manifolds and camshaft covers with polished lettering are used to fulleffect, while visible wires and plumbing have been kept to a minimum. The 200-horsepower engine snarls when ignited and the throaty exhaust note is reminiscent of the days when a sports car truly sounded like one. Moving out into traffic, the Rover delivers its power with unarming smoothness. Waste-gate release of the turbo unit is electronically modulated, which means instead of the typical kick in the pants boost in mid-range, the Rover's turbo is on the job full-time, punching out the extra torque throughout the power band. There is probably no finer transmission about than the Rover's superb five-speed manual. After only a few moments with the precise, user-friendly gearbox, it will not matter to you that there is no automatic available. You will also quickly come to recognise the merits of the taut suspension, which keeps the 220 Turbo firmly planted on the road during spirited cornering. This is not a pretend sports car and therefore makes no excuses for giving top priority to high-speed handling. The Rover's tenacious grip is due to its torque-sensing traction control system, which operates at all speeds, transferring torque automatically to whichever front wheel has the most grip. Hauling the 220 Turbo down to quick, controlled stops are servo-assisted front and rear disc brakes with ABS. There is much to appreciate in the new Rover 220 Turbo Coupe, especially the price set by Dodwell Motors. At $298,000, it is a bargain for those who are looking for some old-fashioned British sports car appeal in a sophisticated and well-executed package.