Slow moving pommie car
Fastest-Ever MG Hits The Road
Rejuvenated UK car maker MG Rover has delivered on its promise to build a super saloon to lock horns with BMW's M5 and the Mercedes E55. Pictured here for the first time, the 500bhp rear-wheel-drive, V8-engined MG ZT XPower 500 is the fastest road-going MG ever.
It's the realisation of a proud boast made by the group at this year's Geneva Motor Show that such a vehicle could be made, and offers a glimpse into the future of the MG brand.
Following in the tracks of the 500bhp 2.0-litre turbo MGF unveiled at last month's Le Mans 24-Hours, the 4.6-litre XPower 500 promises a 0-60mph sprint time of only 4.5 seconds and an incredible top speed of 190mph. Even more impressively, this V8 monster will reach 100mph from standstill in only 8.4 seconds. It paves the way for next spring's launch of two powerful MG-based Rover 75s. The first will be a 256bhp V8, with a 370bhp 'ultimate' edition to follow. Prices are still to be confirmed, but the entry-level car is expected to cost at least £30,000.
While at first sight the new machine has little in common with the standard 75 upon which it is based, MG's engineers say it took little effort to prepare the XPower for the road. Converting the bodyshell from front to rear-wheel drive was relatively simple, as the rear axle design was inspired by that of BMW's 3-Series. This means there's plenty of room for the driveshafts and differential, while swapping from front to rear also frees up more space for the engine and the six-speed gearbox.
The rest of the transformation includes 18-inch alloys and improved brakes to cope with the increase in weight and power. To help channel all that drive on to the road, suspension is uprated, and engineers have fitted a Hydratrak limited slip differential to prevent wheelspin in tight corners.
Inside, Sparco seats and harnesses hold the driver in place. But the car's production cousins will be less extreme, featuring metallic inserts in the dashboard and user-friendly seats, as seen in the picture at the top of the page.
Rob Oldaker, product development director at MG Rover, is overjoyed with this latest concept. He told us: "The lid that restrained the development of MG in recent years has been blown off, and the results are truly explosive."