MG XPower SV-R, 2005
MG XPower SV-R, year 2005. Colour Midnight Blue with a blue/dark grey leather/alcantara interior. This tremendous and purposeful MG XPower SV-R was built for the Turin car show in Italy but the car was never to be presented there because of the demise of MG/Rover. The MG XPower SV-R is a rare automobile, in total 56 were built of which 23 Left Hand Drive models like this one.
ARCHIVES | SOLD
The conception of the MG XPower SV became reality for MG Rover by the acquisition of the Italian sports car manufacturer Qvale Automotive. The MG XPower SV was based upon the steel box chassis of the Qvale Mangusta. In the year 2001 the concept named MG X80 saw the light of day. The MG XPower SV was designed by the Englishman Peter Stevens. Production of the MG XPower SV proved to be a complex matter. First because the body was manufactured of very expensive and ultra light carbon fiber composite and second because the production took place in Italy and Great Britain. The carbon composite body panels were manufactured at SP Systems in Great Britain. The panels were shipped to Belco Avia in Turin (Italy) were the body's were assembled and mated with the steel box chassis. The Italians also fitted all driving gear like the engine, gearbox and the suspension. After that the cars were shipped to MG Rover in Longbridge (GB) to be completed. The MG XPower SV featured a tuned 320 bhp. 4.6 Litre Ford V8 engine, a Tremec 5-speed gearbox and a BTR limited slip differential. In the year 2004 the more powerful MG XPower SV-R was added. The SV-R was fitted with an even more potent 5.0 liter 32 valve Ford V8 delivering a proud 385 bhp. With a top speed of 282 km/u the SV-R was 16 km/h faster as the 'normal' SV. The MG XPower SV-R accelerated from 0-100 km/h in about 5 seconds. Next to the SV and SV-R models MG Rover introduced the SV-S and SV-RS versions. These cars were fitted with the 4.6 Litre engine but a compressor was added. The engine capacity equaled the 5.0 Litre SV-R with 385 bhp. Only 56 MG XPower SV-R were built of which 23 left hand drive models. Nowadays the MG XPower cars are sought after collector items..
Ford V8 DOHC 32V
cylinder capacity: 5000 cc.
capacity: 385 DIN bhp. at 6000 rpm.
torque: 510 Nm. at 4750 rpm.
top-speed: 282 km/h.
weight: 1450 kg.
MG (Morris Garage) was set up by William Morris in the year 1923 to market a more sporty line of Morris models. Morris Production Manager, Cecil Kimber, was transferred from the factory in Cowley to Morris Garages (in Abington) to design MG's using Morris parts. MG production in Abingdon started in the year 1924. At the end of the 1930s, even normal passenger cars were introduced under the MG label.
The business flourished when in 1945, just after World War II, the sporty prewar MG TB and its successor the TC stole the hearts of the American soldiers. Numerous MGs were shipped to America where this type of motorcar was yet unknown.
Demand for the MG sports cars quickly rose in America, and most of the MGs were sold across the big pond in the years that followed. MGs were simple and well-built, affordable and easy to maintain. In 1952, Austin Motor Corporation merged with Morris Motors to form British Motor Corporation Ltd*.
In 1955, the pre-war TB and the post-war TC, TD and TF series with their pre-war designs were followed by the MG A roadster, which also became available as coupes after 1956.
In 1962, the successful MG A was followed by the even more successful and austerely but elegantly lined MG B. This series, too, mainly found its way to America. The MG B was available as roadster and as a 2+2 coupe, called the ‘GT’.
As British Motor* had stopped the production of the Austin Healey, there was again the need for a six-cylinder sports car from this stable, which made the MG C see the light of day in 1967. It was an MG B with a six-cylinder engine. However, this car failed to live up to expectations as its road-holding and character were not of Healey’s caliber. Eventually, Healey’s successor was to come from the newly merged British Leyland* stable in 1968, and was called the Triumph TR6.
In 1973, a V8 variant of the MG B came onto the market: the MGB V8. This model had a powerful Rover 3.5 litre V8 motor and was to be built until 1976.
The MG B roadster and the GT were sold until 1980, and, under pressure from American legislation, were adapted with safety-enhancing and emission-reducing conversions during their last five production years. The resultant thick rubber bumpers and less powerful engines made these cars much less attractive. Meanwhile, Japan produced the Datsun 240 Z, and put an end to the British sports car hegemony in America.
In 1980, it was curtains for MG B. In the years after, some Austins did appear, ‘dressed up’ as MGs but we’d rather forget about them. Finally, in the 1990s, a worthy successor emerged in the form of the MG F, which is available to this day.
In the year 2001 BMW decided to get rid of Rover because they were losing lots of money because the British pound was too expensive as was manufacturing cars in England.
A group of investors bought Rover. They took over the entire model line and were able to work out the last details on the Rover 75 Tourer and market it. Next idea was to give MG a true rebirth; various Rover models were technically re-engineered, tuned and spiced up to make thru drivers cars of them, a sporty line of cars alongside the Rover middle-class luxury line.
Looking at the Rover/ MG cars and reading about them in the press we can tell that we have high expectations of the MG models to appear in the future.
© Marc Vorgers
1968-75: BRITISH LEYLAND MOTOR CORPORATION, LTD
1975-78: BRITISH LEYLAND LIMITED
(in the merger of BRITISH MOTOR HOLDINGS with Austin-Morris and Jaguar interests in 1966)
and LEYLAND MOTOR CORP. LTD.
partly nationalized by the British government in 1975