The prototype of the open top MG Midget sports car.
By Clifford Webb
Austin Rover is poised to resume production of a two-seat open top MG sports car for the first time since it closed the MG factory at Abingdon, near Oxford, more than five years ago.
A prototype of a new MG Midget is already under test at Canley, Coventry, headquarters of Mr Roy Axe, Austin Rover’s director of design. Today’s issue of Motor magazine reports that the new MG Midget will rely heavily on the company’s link with Honda of Japan. It will use the same floor pan and many of the lower bodypanels of the new Rover 200 series As with the new Rover, it will have a redesigned front end to give it an identity of its own, and be powered by the same 1.3 litre three valves per cylinder Honda engine as the Rover 213. It will also be offered with the bigger Longbridge made 1.6 litre engine which will be seen in the Rover 216 when that car is launched in a couple of months.
With so many parts in common, the new MG and the Rover can be assembled on the same tracks at Longbridge. This will reduce production costs considerably, and will enable Austin Rover to offer a small open sports car similar to the Reliant SS1.