Concepts and Prototypes : MGF Super Sports (EX254)

Rover unveiled this interesting proposal based on the MGF at the Geneva Motor Show in 1998. The Super Sports lost its windscreen and gained a whole lot more besides. 

Beneath the special features, the styling of MG EX254 wasn’t actually much changed over the standard factory MGF. The supercharged (by Janspeed) 1.8-litre K-Series engine developed 197bhp for scintillating performance.

The ‘spyder’ design study built around the highly successful MGF made the Super Sports a really nice nod to the racers from the company’s past. It was shown alongside a historic MG K3 Magnette at the motor show, a car that competed successfully in the 1933 Mille Miglia. Perhaps MG was hoping for more of the same.

Developed in double-quick time

The MGF Super Sports was developed in just three months – the latest in tradition extending back to the 1920s. The Super Sports name itself, as well as epitomising the character of the design study, was the first ever used on an MG car in 1924.

It remains one of the more interesting Rover Group motor show stars of the 1990s, and cut from the same cloth as the Rover 200 BRM LE and Rover 425 KV6 LE.

Styling details were interesting: a chrome engine air intake, feeding the supercharger, rises in classic style above the mid-engine installation. The driver’s cockpit is set within a full length tonneau moulded from carbon fibre composite and features a fast rake, low drag, spyder-style racing screen.

Other changes included new front and rear bumpers, blistered wheelarches stretched over eight-spoke alloys wearing 210/605 R16 race tyres (front) and 220/640 R17 (rear). Roll-over safety protection proved by a welded-in roll-cage with a single hoop behind the driver’s head.

A bespoke interior

The seats, fully trimmed in white leather with red accent stitching, were purpose-built within an overall interior exploiting the white and chrome theme. It was developed under the leadership of Chris Lee and Designer David Woodhouse, with help from Mayflower Vehicle Systems.

Chris Lee, Project Director, said: ‘For nearly 75 years MG has been one of the world’s great sports car marques, producing cars which capture the imagination both on and off the race track. The MGF Super Sports is an exciting and thoroughly contemporary evocation of that tradition. A car in the true spirit of MG.’

Keith Adams


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