New MG Models Unveiled

Octagon Newsletter August 2001

By Alan Fraser

At a Longbridge press conference on January 31st, 2001, MG Rover unveiled its new line of MG models.

MGF: in a 160 hp form called the "Trophy' with a reduced specification 1.6 litre entry model to compete with the Mazda Miata.

ZR: three and five door hatchback with a choice of 1.6 to 2.5 litre gas or 2 litre turbo diesel engines based on the Rover 25.

ZS: mid-sized sports saloon based on the Rover 45 with the same engines plus an unannounced range‑topping K-series engine modified by Lola and based on the TOCA tour race car.

ZT: an executive sports saloon based on the Rover 75 with engines ranging from 160 to 195 b.h.p. V6 units and a yet to be announced V8 with 260 to 375 b.h.p. and rear-wheel drive.

There are also rumours of an MG badged version of the forthcoming Rover 75 Estate Wagon. Our Cressida Wagon may yet get replaced!

Classic Engines Return

Among the many MG Rover projects is one to resurrect the BMC 'A' and 'B' series engines in modern form. The A-series engine may be found in 1.4 litre form in the MG ZR with 78 b.h.p.. The B‑series, 1.9 litre will produce 101 b.h.p. but with supercharging or turbo charging should emit up to 550 b.h.p. and be seen in both MGF and MG ZS modified for front-engine rear drive configuration. The engines will boast a new Lucas fuel injection system which retains the classic appearance of twin SU carburetors, while using modern technology.

There is also indication that the V8 unit proposed for the MG ZT will be based on two B‑series blocks welded together and designated BV8. There are also rumours that a DIY kit can be produced to allow MGB owners to convert their cars to V8 power by simply bolting a second 'B' block to their present engine. The proposed new engines are scheduled to appear in the MGF by April.

These items are good news to owners of 'A' and 'B' series engines because of the probability of parts reproduction and availability if the proposals become fact. Roger Burgess is probably already measuring his engine-room for that second block.

Reference:

MG World - April/May 2001

2001 MG ZR

2001 MG ZS

2001 MG ZT

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