MGF & TF Performance Portfolio 1995-2005
One of the most hallowed names of the international automobile industry would have to be MG. All through its often turbulent history the name and its heritage has been abused and disabused by so-called managers who seemed to do everything possible to diminish its significance firstly, to the Nuffield Group, then BMC, followed by British LeylandÂoh, what a mess they made of it and then a rebirth under the BMW-financed Rover Group before, and perhaps finally, MG Rover. How people charged with managing a major industrial enterprise can mess up so badly is a mystery, but through it all MG enthusiasts kept the flame alive. The last sports cars of the line, the MGF and MG TF, were superb small sports cars that proved to be very popular all over the world, although we should note that they were never homologated for sale in America. For the first time at MG the car had a modern specification and was no longer merely a collection of parts from lesser sedans from somewhere else in the company. By marrying a transversely mid-mounted K-series engine driving the rear wheels in a specifically designed body, Rover created a sports car that was no longer derivative of something else, it was unique. Its configuration matched that of the truly exotic (and expensive) sports cars from around the world. From its introduction in 1995 with the 1.8i and 1.8i VVC engines performance was always spirited without being unruly 0-60 mph times were in the 8 second bracket and top speed was around 120 mph although the 1.8 160 was good for a sub-7 second time for the sprint and would run to 137-140 mph the MGF quickly became the top-selling sports car in Europe. After such a period of drought the MG enthusiasts were out in force putting their money on the line. The next MG revived the hallowed letters from the good old days (the 50s), TF. In the opinion of some its styling was too derivative of the F and although every exterior panel was new, its styling was a little more purposeful. Vastly more change had, however, taken place out of sight under the skinÂthe Hydrolastic suspension of the F was replaced by a far more sporting coil-and-wishbone independent suspension system. Through to the close in June 2005 the MG TF remained the best-selling sports car in Europe proving that the allure of the badge was still as strong as ever. Covered are the 1.8i, 1.8i VVC, 1.6i, Steptronic, Cheetah, 135 & 160s. 128 pages with 32 pages in colour. Over 200 illus. SB.
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