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Reliant Rialto Mk1

Reliant Rialto 2

1982 - 1984

1984 - 1985

Reliant Rialto SE

1986 - 1988

Reliant Rialto


Giant (Pick up)

Body Types:




Base Model

Base Model

Base Model

GLS Model

GLS Model

Special Editions:

Reliant Rialto Jubilee: 1985


The Rialto was launched on the 13th January 1982 in three body styles: Powered by Reliant’s 848cc light alloy engine the Rialto featured a new GRP wedge shaped body that was attached to a galvanised chassis. The Mk1 was manufactured until February 1984 when the Rialto 2 was launched. The Rialto 2 models were fitted with a HT-E (High Torque-Economy) version of Reliant’s 848cc engine and coupled with a higher ratio rear axle gave a 14.3% reduction in engine revolutions per mile. Test conducted by the D.O.T confirmed the Rialto 2 had a fuel economy on average of 73.3 mpg at a steady 56 mph.

The Rialto 2 was produced in the same body shapes and models as the MK 1. In late 1985 a special Jubilee Rialto version was launched to celebrate Reliant’s 50th year of business.

1985 Reliant Rialto 2 Van

Photograph Courtesy of Kerry Croxton

1985 Reliant Rialto Jubilee

Photograph Courtesy of Brian Radford


1994 Reliant Rialto Pick Up

Photograph Courtesy of Kerry Croxton

The Rialto 2 was replaced by the "SE" in September 1986, and was closely followed by the "SE Hatch"in 1987. In these models Reliant had reverted back to the original 848cc engine and so the HT-E version was no longer used.

The Rialto 2 door saloon was dropped when Beans Engineering was took over the company the 2-door Saloon models were dropped and only the Van and Estate remained. The SE models also had a lower side stripe glued to the body to help give the vehicle an illusion of extra length and width.

The last most significant review of the Rialto range was in 1994 when under the control of Avonex Group 12 inch wheels where added. Later in the same year the Rialto was replaced completely by the Robin though many log books for the vehicle showed the vehicle as being a Rialto.

The last real "development" of the Rialto came in the shape of the "Giant" pick up, the " nose " of the Rialto being used on the base model.

Additional Notes:

With the Rialto Reliant introduced Ownercards that were issued with each vehicle. These cards recorded all the details for that vehicle and provided dealers with warranty and service details.

Thanks go to Mark Cropper for helping with the data on this page.

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