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 production at the earliest opportunity, as long as the demand is there.
The company is playing on the heritage of the MGB and its transformation into the GT in 1965, and draws parallels between that car’s search for bigger engines and the additon of a 200bhp KV6 into this one. Raising power to 200bhp, performance is predicted to give the GT sub six second zero to 60mph acceleration and a top speed of 145mph. The increase in speed is aided by the reduced drag GT style, cutting the aerodynamic drag coefficient from 0.35 to 0.31.
As engineers and planners consider ideas for the next generation of the UK’s top selling sports car they have been researching the ‘fixed-head’ market. Many of the ‘warmer climate’ markets prefer sports cars to have an integrated, coupe style and air conditioning to cope with high summer temperatures. Also, recent models like the Audi TT have shown that hardtops can be highly popular for customers who prefer the style of a fixed-head coupe. Features of interest specified on the MG GT concept include 17” Gunsmoke five-spoke OZ alloy wheels, similar in design to the MG XPower SV. An extended front aero splitter is balanced by a longer tail-spoiler integrated into the bootlid design, generating reduced lift at speed.
New door mirrors feature integral side direction indicator lamps and the switch for the electronic door opening feature, that in the process have eliminated the external door handles for a clean exterior design profile. The interior is trimmed with Burgundy Red leather seats with the fascia and door casings also following the same colourway. Peter Stevens, MG’s design director says: “We would love to expand the MG TF range with a high-performance MG GT which has inspiring handling, practicality and great looks. The KV6 engine combines a superb soundtrack with a surge of power and a wider performance envelope to drive within – perfect for a sports car.”
Let’s hope that the company can sort out engine access and installation with the car’s transformation into a coupe – if it wants more power, maybe the Sprintex supercharged version of the Australian ZT 220 can be squeezed in…