Realising that the Scimitar GT was not precisely what the market was looking for, Reliant polished up the model considerably and came up with the vastly improved Scimitar GTE

Launched in October 1968,  the Reliant Scimitar GTE established what was a new and revolutionary type of body style — described by the motoring media of the mid-Sixties as a "sporting estate."

Effectively the  Scimitar GTE was a sports coupe, but with a square-back body style and a vast rear window which also doubled as a loading door. Because the GTE was longer and broader than the existing conventional coupe, it was an "almost four-seater," which appealed to many people.

Although the old Scimitar's Triumph-based front suspension/steering and the same coil-sprung rear axle were retained, the chassis was different, for the wheelbase was up by seven inches.

To mantain the GTE's symmetry, the wheel tracks were increased by seven inches, while the detailing of the pressings was totally new, especially at the rear end, where they supported the considerable load platform.

The cabin style was much like that of the two-seater Scimitars, though far more spacious, and Reliant had arranged for the rear seat backrests to fold forward to maximize the load platform area,

Earliest cars, dubbed the SE5, were the prettiest. The later SE6 was both longer and wider, but couldn't quite match the same overtly sporting character as the original.

Final versions cars came with a German-built 2.8-litre (171 cu in) Ford V6 as used in the Capri 2.8 Injection Special.

This four-seater touring estate was based on a design by British  design consultancy Ogle, which came up with a racy estate car with ample fold-flat rear load space accessed through the hinged, sloping rear window.

The only car of the times that came close to a similar layout was the Volvo P1800 estate, but the Reliant Scimitar was more popular, especially for the UK market.

The car gained the Royal seal of approval in 1970 when an airforce blue Scimitar GTE was bought as a twentieth birthday present for Princess Anne by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal,  has consistently shown her loyalty to the brand, owning at least eight GTEs, reportedly appreciating the easily accessible trunk (boot) space for her riding gear and the car’s impressive turn of speed.