A tall order to say the least, former British brand MG hopes to find its roots while finding a “next breed of sports car.”
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It’s a far cry from the 1960s and 1970s when in Britain, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a MGB or Midget. It was almost a similar story in the United States, which for much of the postwar period was Britain’s largest single vehicle export market.
Nonetheless, despite a very troubled recent history and selling so few cars in the UK last month (three of the seven were MG TF mid-engined roadsters, the other four MG 6 hatchback/sedan models), current parent, China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC, which builds the MG 6 and ships complete knocked down examples for final assembly in the UK), has said it isn’t giving up on the brand.
Part of the firm’s strategy with MG is the introduction of several new models for the UK market, including the MG 3, which is aimed at the likes of popular sellers such as the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris.
This should help bolster sales, as despite being on the market for less than a year, the MG 6 is a relatively large car by UK standards, competing in a segment where demand is shrinking. The lack of a diesel option and a hoary old, relatively thirsty 1.8-liter turbocharged gas engine that can trace its roots back to the mid-1980s certainly aren’t helping matters, despite the 6 earning a four-star crash rating in NCAP safety tests.
Besides the MG 3 it will be interesting to see what other new models materialize; a ”halo” replacement for the TF, which can trace its roots all the way back to 1995 is long overdue and would certainly help bolster the brand’s reputation as a maker of fun, affordable sports cars, something it was synonymous with back in its heyday.
[Source: Left Lane News]
The MG SV-R is a car most people in North America (or anywhere else for that matter) haven’t even heard of. But it did exist for a short time, and we’re glad it did. So how did it come about?
The project started when MG Rover, wanted a halo car for their brand, to raise the company’s profile and keep it in business. So what MG did was look for a suitable car to form the basis for their new sports car (this would save them tons in development money), and mold it into something unique.
What they got was the underpinnings of the Qvale Mangusta, a car that started out in life as the De Tomaso Bigua. With the underpinnings secured, MG went all out and hired automotive designer Peter Stevens.
Steven’s is most well known for penning the iconic McLaren F1 supercar, and he soon got to work to clothe the chassis he was given. The end result might not be to everyone’s taste, but it is most certainly interesting.
To power their new sports car, MG made a deal with Ford to get both the 4.6-liter V8 from the Mustang, and a 5.0-liter V8 crate motor. They also got some supercharged 4.6-liter V8s from Ford SVT division. The motors were then sent to Sean Hyland Motorsports in Woodstock, Ontario in Canada to tune them to MG’s specifications. As a result, the base 4.6-liter engine was good for 320 hp, while the 5.0-liter and the supercharged 4.6-liter V8s were good for 385 hp. At launch time, there was talk of much more power to come, but nothing came of it.
Power was fed to the rear wheels via a Tremec 5-speed manual gearbox, and when launched properly would sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and onto a top speed of 175 mph. So while not the quickest or fastest sports car ever made, it’s certainly respectable.
Despite having a high profile client like Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean, Johnny English), who ordered a dark green example, MG struggled to sell their latest sports car in big numbers. All in all, just 82 examples are believed to have been produced between 2003 and 2005, of which 42 were the more powerful SV-R versions.
The car pictured above is believed to be the very last complete SV-R ever produced by MG. This car was once the star of the 2005 Italian Motor Show. Sadly the MG Rover group soon went into administration and this car stay locked up for three years, before the cars current owner bought it and registered it in 2008. Since then it has covered just 800 miles. In a way, this silver on black example is almost like new and comes with such original goodies as an MG Racing car cover, an SV-R collector’s DVD, hardback book, an MG jacket, T-shirt and key ring. All these items are also described as brand new.
If you are intrigued by this left-hand drive example (which makes it rarer than rare), you can bid on it at the Silverstone Auctions on November 4, 2011. This car is part of the Walter Hayes sale, which includes many other tasty collector cars.
This MG SV-R is expected to fetch around $55,000, a bargain for what could very possibly be a desirable future classic.
GALLERY: MG SV-R
[Source: Silverstone Auctions]
MG Rover may have been able to retain much of its British character after being acquired by Chinese automaker SAIC, the company’s tie-in with General Motors may see the next generation MG Rover products use GM technologies, including platforms.
The Roewe 750 sedan, formerly based on the Rover 75, may be based on the Epsilon II platform used on the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia, which would help bring the car up to a level suitable for European sales. A new range of turbocharged gasoline and diesel 4-cylinder engines are also being developed, along with a crossover and a plug-in hybrid variant of the MG5 compact hatchback, although GM’s involvement in these projects is unclear.
MG is also hoping to expand its UK dealer network to 50 stores in the near future, and the fact that much of the engineering work is being carried out at MG’s historic Longbridge facility should make the cars an easier sell in such a competitive market.
Consider this little disappearance an “extended vacation.” After shutting down operations in Longbridge back in 2005, MG has now returned to the UK, by way of China, with the British-built MG 6.
MG Rover imploded in spectacular fashion back in 2005, but since then they have been hiding out in China. Owned by Nanjing Automobile Group, they have been building models such as the hatchback MG 6, pictured, and the occasional MG TF kit assembled in the Longbridge plant.
But now the MG 6 has returned in European specification, which mostly means a far nicer interior for discriminating consumers. Three trim levels will be offered, and all cars will come generously equipped with keyless ignition, power everything and air conditioning. The only engine so far will be a turbocharged 1.8-liter four, good for 158 horsepower. A 1.9-liter diesel will come next year.
The car will be built in Birmingham, England, and will go on sale in April.
[Source: World Car Fans]
You may have never heard of Guangzhou, China, but with nearly 12 million people, the industrial metropolis is a major player in the Chinese auto market.
Making its debut at the show is one of China’s most anticipated new cars, the MG3 hatchback and MG6 sedan. Although Chinese cars are a laughing stock in much of the automotive press, the MG6, in pre-production form, has been called “borderline best in class to drive” by Autocar magazine in the UK, and with competition like the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf, this is high praise.
While the MG bears the nameplate of the famous British sports car maker, the MG6 was developed from the ground up in China. The car will be sold in the UK within a year, but no plans for American sales have been announced.