The MGF was the first all-new MG roadster since the arrival of the ‘B in 1962. It also scored a notable production first for being mid-engined (the ADO21 and MG EX-E were also mid-engined, but didn’t get near to going on sale).
The MGF had superb weight distribution and brilliant roadholding thanks to its interconnected Hydragas suspension system. It was a clever little car that used many other off-the-shelf parts – not least a pair of Metro subframes, and its K-Series engine.
In summary, the MGF was greater than the sum of its parts, and remains a unique driving experience to this day. There are two engines available, the 1.8i K-series 1796cc 16v and the 1.8i VVC (Variable Valve Control), with power figures of 118bhp and 143bhp respectively which give a 0-60 time of 8.5 (1.8i) and 7.0 (VVC) seconds. Many bargains can be had, but shop carefully…
Reviews, blogs and news stories
The MGF was an appealing mid-engined sports car that showed genuine engineering flair when it was launched – thanks to the use of VVC and Hydragas suspension.
Ask anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of classics to name their favourite cars, and you can guarantee that the MG name will come up time and time again. Keith Adams takes a short tour through the history of this great marque…
For the Geneva motor show in 1998, Rover unveiled this interesting proposal based on the MGF. The Super Sports lost its windscreen and gained a whole lot more besides. Starting with its 197bhp Janspeed supercharged K-series engine.
Steve Harper has a fundamental role in the genesis of the MGF, which under his direction was transformed from a neat little roadster, lacking a splash of creativity, to a shapely new-age sports car that shouted its mid-engined layout from the rooftops. In his own words, Steve walks us through the design changes he made.
We take a spin in an early 1.8-litre car and come away with the distinct impression that despite the well-documented Heritage issues, here’s a car that can step up to the plate and delight the driver.
The main problem with Hydragas is that, over time, the sealed units would lose gas and become less effective. Alexander Boucke describes the steps involved in getting your Hydragas suspended car back into rude health Update: More than 11 years after the initial work, the first units that were fitted to a Maxi in autumn […]
Keith Adams Originally posted 26 March 2011 It was strange seeing MGF prototypes PR1, PR2 and PR3 for the very first time on a recent visit to Longbridge. I had seen them in the pages of David Knowles’ excellent MGF and TF book as well as on the pages of this very website but had never really appreciated […]
Hydragas suspension was one of the quiet achievements pioneered and refined by British Leyland – and yet, it never received the praise it deserved. KEITH ADAMS briefly explains how the system works. Pioneer that led nowhere… SINCE the introduction of the Mini in 1959, BL’s predecessor, the British Motor Corporation (BMC), had been right at […]
Keith Adams It’s funny how the passage of time can sometimes take you unawares. Looking at AROnline‘s fantastic ‘Archive’ feature is a great way of keeping stock of the company’s past – and it was in one of those idle moments, that I realised that the MG TF is a decade old already! To me, […]
For many, the sun set on Longbridge in May 2005 when MG Rover went into administration – but three years on, and small scale car production has returned with the arrival of the MG TF LE500. CAB B as NAC MG UK now calls it currently houses the TF, but there’s room for so much […]
The MGF was something new and exciting for the Rover Group when it appeared in 1995. Here are some of the best images of the car in Mk1 form… Gallery
MGB for the 21st century? Hinted at for some time in the press, the MG GT Concept marries the well-known capabilities of the MG TF chassis and the KV6 engine, and packages them up in a pretty new hard-top body. Not yet cleared for production, it is MG Rover’s ambition to get the car into […]
TF goes hybrid! The public’s perception of the hybrid car is one of a boring, low speed economy car – a car that one would only buy if there were no other option. Cars such as the impressive Honda Insight and Toyota Prius have tended to re-inforce that perception, which is a shame, because hybrid […]
XPowered MGF launched at Le Mans 2001, the MG XPower TF500 demonstrated that there was a fighting spirit at MG Rover; one that wanted to show the world that the company could emerge from the shadow of BMW and produce some interesting, fast and exciting new cars. Certainly, that statement of intent was underlined beautifully […]
Robert Leitch ‘Combustion is the hidden principle behind every artefact we create.’ WG Sebald – The Rings of Saturn It is at once dispiriting and encouraging to realise the four cycle gasoline engine, the 150-year old device which has held so many of us in its thrall since the early days of the horse-less carriage, […]
Words: Keith Adams Photographs: Adam Sloman I always remember feeling a slight sense of hope and optimism when NAC MG announced that it was going to start building cars in Oklahoma, USA. The announcement came in 2007 and, although little concrete news followed, I hoped, prayed and wished for a return to the colonies for […]
Richard Kilpatrick The lack of cars had started to gnaw away at me since sending the dearly detested C6 back to Citroën and getting possibly the most wonderful, forgettable car in return – a C3, which I suspect, I’d have trouble drawing if I wasn’t actually looking at it, let alone become emotionally attached to it). My […]
A busy week… First a trip to Longbridge for the first UK drives of the MG6 and, as you’ll no doubt have read elsewhere, the UK press has come away impressed by what’s been achieved by the lads at Longbridge – they’ve undoubtedly done what they needed to and created a car at or near the top of […]
After some time on the dark side owning a Citroën Xantia Activa, and then over eighteen months with a 200 VI, AROnline‘s very own technical guru, Brian Gunn, felt the need to move to something slightly more exotic… And in keeping with his very particular tastes, it’s rear wheel drive, and cobbled together from bits […]