Video of the Week : X Power MG SV Promotional Video

Mike Humble

Arguably, the achingly pretty SV was a car MGR had no clear vision what to do with. Looked good in the portfolio brochure for prospective buyers which it was meant to do) but clearly way too specialist for a dying mass manufacturer to successfully market.
Arguably, the achingly pretty SV was a car which MGR had no clear vision for – it looked good in the portfolio brochure for prospective buyers (which it was meant to do), but was clearly way too specialist for a dying mass manufacturer to market successfully

Well, this is a bit of a strange one, as I personally never saw this video at dealer level although my sources confirm it’s a genuine MGR production. However, if you want any more proof that MG Rover were scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas, then this short and narration free video might just persuade those with the most opaque of “Rover-tinted spectacles” that things were getting desperate.

The video has clumsy editing and an annoying drum and bass backbeat that’s more fitting for a fairground dodgem track. Eagle-eyed viewers may notice the chassis cab van (Transit or Leyland DAF?) looking about as wanted as a ham bap at a bar-mitzvah.

A nice close up of those Fiat Punto sourced headlamps.
A nice close up of those Fiat Punto-sourced headlamps

Not only that, but there’s also a wonderful glimpse of a lady trying to tune the wireless into Ken Bruce as some leather-clad hunk legs it with the intellectual property rights to the Rover car range and the K-Series engine and which was shot in a pretty sexist manner even for 2004, when this was filmed. On a personal note, I would love to know which redundant power station this was filmed at – anyone know?

To be fair, the SV had an important role to play. When John Towers and his bandy gang visited possible collaboration partners around the world, they needed a show-stopping portfolio model to stir the interest – not to mention foreign coffers. We can only hope they didn’t show this video to them as well.

In a style not dissimilar to those Pukka-Pie bill board posters from a few years back, this wonderfully sexist shot was so out of mode - even back in 2004.
In a style not dissimilar to those Pukka-Pie bill board posters from a few years back, this wonderfully sexist shot was so out of mode – even back in 2004

However, the most worrying aspect of all is that this brief two-minute film is meant to whet the appetites of potential buyers of a car that was deeply into a “premium” sports car class in terms of cost but instead looks like something that young lads with hats on back to front would go weak at knees over. Was the SV a car too far or were MG Rover simply out of their depth in terms of image perception? You tell us.

You can see the full, pretty awful video by clicking here


Mike Humble

Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love. An apprenticeship in a large family Ford dealer was his first forray into the dark and seedy world of the motor trade.

Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications


  1. I seem to recall that a short film on repeat thread was displayed alongside the MG SV at its press unveiling at the 2002 British Motor Show, although I do not know whether it is the same version as this one. I recall it generated a lot of noise across the entire MG Rover Group stand!

    However, this same location was definitely used for the official launch press photos issued at the British Motor Show in 2002, while I seem to recall there may have been a similar video shot at the same location which also featured an interview with Professor Peter Stevens as MG Rover Group’s design consultant – I think this is on Youtube.

    The featured car is this video looks to be the very same example used as the reveal car in 2002, complete with those awful reflector strips on the sides of the support struts of the rear aerofoil.

    On a lighter note, before anyone asks (who knows me), no, that is not me with the briefcase and stylish sunglasses making the hasty get away. If only…

  2. Naff video indeed. The SV was another strange chapter in the final days of MGR. You can argue that they should never have made it, but then the idea that it was a demonstration of technical prowess intended to woo potential investors/partners makes some sort of sense. If only they could have got the price down to the £40-50k bracket, they might have shifted hundreds or even thousands. Was it possible to make the costly bodyshell any cheaper? Were they making a huge profit, even on the tiny number of cars they sold?

  3. Unfortunately the FIAT lights on the SV would have shown potential partners for MG-R that the technical prowess belonged to the people they bought the design from rather than a demonstration of the Phoenix Consortium’s engineering skills.

    • There was a whole thread on Pistonheads recently about shared parts like this on all sorts of premium cars. Presumably in reality it would simply not be economical to design every part from scratch for any manufacturer.

  4. I thought the add was was a winner. I knew about the car and always thought it was a mess, Matt’s assertion “it was a demonstration of technical prowess intended to woo potential investors/partners ” is identical to my view.
    My praise is for the advertisement. Pretty much spot on for it’s time. Post industrial, drum & base music, Matrix style leather coat, and as for sexist… have you seen any music video recently, it makes this look as sexist as the Muppet Show.
    I still believe it to be a perfect example of corporate deception (theft) never mind the pay, bonus, pension contributions etc.

  5. Sorry Mike but in what way is this video sexist. I agree that it’s a bit naff but sexist? If you are referring to the female actors legs, I can assure you that in most offices anywhere in the country, there are women wearing skirts that reveal the top few inches of thigh. I’m not sure they would appreciate being accused of being sexist.

  6. Hi all the power station is Richborough Power Station in Sandwich Kent, there are no towers there now blown up a few years ago. Channel 4 filmed a show there about teams from around the world with crazy 4×4 vechiles is was made by Cathy Rogers who invented Scrapheap Challenge.

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