Images of the RDX60 project, and its evolution from 75-based mule to a range of saloon and hatchbacks for the Chinese market, presented to SAIC around Easter 2005…
What can be seen is that the styling was fixed fairly early on and then refined as further parties showed an interest in MG Rover. What looked fresh and exciting could well have ggrown stale by the delayed launch in 2006/2007 – hence the last minute re-style proposals.
2001 Styling sketches
Peter Stevens’ team penned these designs – and as can be seen, the ambition was for a rugged, solid look for the RDX60.
TWR-era CATIA images of the RDX60 cars
Looking at these images, it becomes very apparent that later Photoshop images of the RDX60 cars never captured the rear SD1-type profile on the 3-door/5-door. This was a very well kept secret considering that these images represent the production intent of these cars. Many suppliers had already started to commence production tooling based on this data.
X60 Three-door hatchback
RD61 Four-door saloon – components
March 2002: Tourer Concept Vehicle
Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, the TCV seemed to impress the pundits…
Wooing the Poles with the new British Midliners…
A change in direction: the earlier TWR sloping-roof scheme is dropped in favour of this TCV-like proposal.
During its chaotic first few years, MG Rover tried hard to obtain a second factory in Poland. The ex-Daewoo factory had fallen into disuse following that company’s bankruptcy, and MGR figured, it could make a cost-effective production facility for the new car, as well as the 75. John Towers told a government select committee in early 2004 that it intended to move into this area…
Earlier when the talks had been entered into, MG Rover executives showed the Polish delegation these full scale models of its upcoming range – the idea being that showing the Peter Stevens desiged range of cars would give the Poles a good idea of the company’s future plans. As it was, other bidders entered into the area, and the deal trailed off.
It is possible that these full-size models were driving prototypes, because of the timescales involved, but as one insider relates, it would have not been ‘assembled using any production components: “Knowing that trim suppliers had not supplied finished or even semi-finished/prototype components for a physical build (D02 Build had been virtual – see above table), it would have been impossible for TWR to make a truly off-tool vehicle until the D1 Build phase. The best they could have acheived would have been driveable cars like the Rover 75 Coupe that looked like finished cars (e.g an existing platform/powertrain but with body panels made by rapid prototype techniques, interior/exterior trim components hand-machined/rapid-prototyped or adapted from the existing parts bin).’
RDX60 mock-up shown to dealers
In order to keep the dealers on-side and to show them that the new car was progressing, MG Rover showed a selected few this model – which was driven into the Round House – as a preview of what was to come in the next couple of years…
Autocar RDX60 renderings
After a long period of silence, these dramatic drawings, published by Autocar, in August 2004 and based on intelligence from an inside source were revealed in the magazine in August 2004. The saloon concept had evolved greatly from the early scheme presented to the Poles in 2002, and the hatchback remained pretty much the same as the TWR design produced in Worthing, although it had a more upright rear end now…
MG X60 proposal
Presented to SAIC executives as well as senior MGR staff, this MG X60 proposal looked very interesting. But it had not really evolved since the original MGR/TWR design dating from 2002. Set styling themes appeared to be the interesting rear window arrangement and heavy front end styling…
The model is see-through and is probably a glass fibre mock-up with fully designed interior.
MGR’s stylists’ frustrations with RDX60 inactivity led to this ‘leaked’ image
being sent to the UK media.
It was supposed to be a wake-up call…
A facelift was proposed in 2004,cand Peter Stevens’ team soon produced a number of interesting designs…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics 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...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.