The MG SV and MG SV-R

Freed from their BMW ties, the new MG Rover company set about rebuilding itself and launching rebranded MG Zed versions of the remaining Rover cars in production.  However MG also had bigger plans, but the costs associated with those were prohibitive compared to the budgets and cash reserves then new company actually had.

Luckily for the group, a company with supercar aspirations and a product just about ready to go had put itself up for sale and the cost of buying this would be a lot cheaper than developing a complete new car from scratch...

Soon after the purchase, MG Rover showed its supercar to the world...

The motoring press was not impressed and the reception was tepid at best.  This was not what MG Rover were hoping for and had to make their new purchase come good.  So they set up a new subsidiary, sent the best design team they had to look at and redesign the car, set a budget and a completion date, then hoped...

The MG SV Reborn

What emerged in 2003 was what appeared on the surface, a complete redesign, however the rear of the car and the roofline were almost unchanged from the original car shown.  The front though was wild by comparison...

The whole nose section became more 'brutal' with exaggerated air vents on either side.  Flared wheelarches and sideskirts were present and the whole car to some looked just mad.  The look though had its appeal and helped it stand out from the supercar crowd, especially with its Mustang V8 engine that according to the marketing of the later MG SV-R, could be tuned to almost whatever the customer required.

With a Nitro kit added, it was claimed that the car could generate over 1000BHp and it had a starting price far less than the equivalent supercar on the market.

But should this have been a path MG Rover took when they had so little in terms of cash reserves for developing a new car?  That is still an argument that in places rages today, one thing though it certainly put the MG brand among the big boys of the day.  What is more likely though for MG Rover is that this was a move to try and align them with potential partners for future plans or to make the company a more attractive target for takeover.  Whatever the real reasons, it did give us one of the most distinctive cars of the decade, one which still stands out among its contemporaries today.