MG Rover has created a faster, concept version of the MG TF – the MG GT Concept. The company has created the concept to be a modern day expression of the beloved MGB GT from the 1960s.
That car was treated to some more powerful engines in the shape of the 3-litre straight six (MGC) and 3.5-litre V8 (MGB GT V8) and so the engineers have developed this latest concept around the 2.5-litre KV6 engine. Raising power to 200bhp, performance is predicted to give the GT sub six second zero to 60mph acceleration and a top speed of 145mph. The increase in speed is aided by the reduced drag GT style, cutting the aerodynamic drag coefficient from 0.35 to 0.31.
As engineers and planners consider ideas for the next generation of the UK’s top selling sports car they have been researching the ‘fixed-head’ market. Many of the ‘warmer climate’ markets prefer sports cars to have an integrated, coupe style and air conditioning to cope with high summer temperatures. Also, recent models like the Audi TT have shown that hardtops can be highly popular for customers who prefer the style of a fixed-head coupe.
Features on the MG GT concept include 17″ Gunsmoke five-spoke OZ alloy wheels, similar in design to the MG XPower SV. An extended front aero splitter is balanced by a longer tail-spoiler integrated into the bootlid design, generating reduced lift at speed.
New door mirrors feature integral side direction indicator lamps and the switch for the electronic door opening feature, that in the process have eliminated the external door handles for a clean exterior design profile. The interior is trimmed with Burgundy Red leather seats with the fascia and door casings also following the same colourway.
Peter Stevens, MG’s design director says: “We would love to expand the MG TF range with a high-performance MG GT which has inspiring handling, practicality and great looks. The KV6 engine combines a superb soundtrack with a surge of power and a wider performance envelope to drive within – perfect for a sports car.”
The MG TF is apparently the UK’s best selling sports car and sales have climbed in each year for the last three. Further improvements will be introduced in 2005 to retain the TF’s customer appeal of being a desirable all-round performer.