MG Motor UK wowed the crowds celebrating the marque’s 90th Anniversary during the MG Car Club-promoted MG90 event at Silverstone last weekend by revealing the fully race-prepared MG3 Trophy.
The racing version of MG’s B-segment MG3 supermini has been developed at MG Birmingham by a seven-man SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre (SMTC UK) team led by Vehicle Engineering Specialist Adrian Guyll with four primary objectives, namely to provide a current product with which to continue MG’s Club-level racing tradition, to demonstrate SMTC UK’s in-house engineering capabilities, to illustrate the potential of the MG3’s platform and to evaluate possible MG3 product upgrades.
The race-ready MG3 Trophy features a turbocharged version of the production model’s 1.5 VTi-Tech (NSE) engine which develops 201bhp and 192ft lbs of torque. However, the 1.5T NSE engine has a new cylinder block, a free-flowed cylinder head, billet aluminium pistons, a re-profiled camshaft and a re-engineered flywheel. The turbocharger is set to 1.0 bar while other modifications include the addition of a high-flow induction system, a bespoke Janspeed exhaust system, a limited slip differential and a full race-spec clutch.
The MG3 Trophy’s bodyshell has undergone a full lightening programme without compromising structural rigidity while chassis modifications include the adoption of fully-adjustable MacPherson strut front suspension and a bespoke rear anti-roll bar.
The standard MG3’s brakes have been upgraded to an all-disc brake system – the ‘3 Trophy features four piston race calipers and 330mm cross-drilled rotors at the front and two piston race calipers with 280mm solid rotors at the rear together with a front-to-rear proportioning valve. The ‘3 Trophy runs on Team Dynamics Pro Race 17in wheels with 205 620 17 slick or wet tyres.
Aerodynamic modifications include the fitment of an adjustable front splitter and a twin-plane adjustable rear spoiler while safety features include the addition of an MSA-approved roll cage, a race seat with a five-point safety harness, a fully-plumbed Lifeline fire extinguisher and a quick release steering wheel.
The Development Team at SMTC UK reportedly hopes that the MG3 Trophy might be used as the basis of an affordable, entry-level One-Model Saloon Car Championship – something akin to the MINI Challenge or the Renault UK Clio Cup or, perhaps, a step below those two Championships on the ladder to the British Touring Car Championship.
Interestingly, the latest Technical Regulations for the MG Car Club’s flagship MG Trophy Championship already include a Class E MG 3 Invitation Class in addition to the current Class B/MG ZR 190, Class C/MG ZR 170 and Class D/MG ZR 160 structure…
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