“Cowley’s Cortina” also received the MG treatment in an attempt to give the upmarket versions a little bit more cachet than perhaps the Austin could manage.
When the Montego was launched in July 1984, the MG version was seen by the company as a viable rival to such cars as the BMW 3-Series and Audi 80/90.
MG Montego EFi
Perhaps the least convincing of all the MG saloons of the Eighties because it was too soft to be an out-and-out performance car, but too low geared and noisy to be an effective luxury car. Like the Maestro EFi, the MG Montego was an effective car, but sadly underrated by the buying public, who by 1984 were smitten by the Cavalier SRis - and that is a shame, because the MG Montego was a superior car to its GM rival in many ways.
Not a bad car, but not terribly interesting, either.
MG Montego Turbo
Dull was never a word that could be used to describe the MG Montego Turbo: not with its under-cooked chassis and resultant torque steer. Quick and roomy the Montego Turbo was, but never a car that could be described as possessing finesse. Not that it mattered to the marketing department, "The fastest-ever production MG" was how it was none-too subtlely described in the car's advertising.
By 1987/1988 the back room boys had managed to reduce the torque steer to manageable levels, but the car’s image as a serious driver’s tool had already been destroyed, more the pity. My one abiding memory of the MG Montego Turbo above all others was its vivid acceleration.
Performance: 0-60mph, 7.2seconds, maximum speed, 126mph (source: Autocar)
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
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