MG Timeline

The MG Timeline – brought to you by the Abingdon Works Centre.

A timeline of cars built by Morris Garages, The MG Car Company, MG-Rover and MG Motor from 1924 to the present day.

Most of the information for the captions below was, up to 2001, gathered from the book The MG File by Eric Dymock with addtional information from various sources.

© 2006-2014 Abingdon Works Centre. Click the photos to enlarge.

1920s

1924-1927 Super Sports 14/28

1924-1927 Super Sports 14/28

1924-1927 Super Sports

The Super Sports 14/28. based on the ‘Bullnose’ Morris Oxford Tourer, was first advertised in the May 1924 issue of The Morris Owner – the MG octagon logo appeared for the first time in this advertisement. The model continued until 1926.

Built at Bainton Road, Oxford.
Parent Company: Morris Garages until 1928, then The MG Car Company.

1927-1929 14/40 & Mk IV

1927-1929 14/40 & Mk IV

1927-1929 14/40 & Mk IV

The  first of the flat radiator cars, the 4/40 was also the first car to receive a mark number, being renamed the MkIV in 1928. MG octagons were used on the car wherever possible.

Built at Edmund Road, Cowley.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1928-1933 18/80 Mk I/II

1928-1933 18/80 Mk I/II

1928-1932 18/80 Mk I/II

The 18/80 was the first MG to be given the ubiquitous split radiator design which was to make MGs easily identifiable for decades to come. The MkI was joined by the MkII quite early in the model’s poduction run. The MkII had an improved engine with a 4-speed gearbox, vacuum brake servo and Triplex safety glass, all of which served to increase the prices to around 30% more than those of the MkI.

Built at Edmund Road, Cowley until 1927-29, then in Abingdon from September 1929
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1929-1932 M-Type Midget

1929-1932 M-Type Midget

1929-1932 M-Type Midget

The first of MG’s small sports cars, the M-Type used the overhead cam engine from the new Morris Minor as its basis and, at £185 for the 2-seater, was a very affordable car. The Autocar proclaimed that “The MG Midget will make small sports car history”.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1930s

1931-1932 D-Type Midget

1931-1932 D-Type Midget

1931-1932 D-Type Midget

The D-Type was intended as a 4-seater to complement the M-Type but it was a heavier car and, with the Depression of the 1930s just starting to bite,  sales were disappointing. One point in its favour was the new underslung chassis derived from the C-Type Montlhéry Midget. The workforce was cut by a third during this time and staff agreed to a 10 percent wage cut until such time as the Depression lifted.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1931-1932 F-Type Magna

1931-1932 F-Type Magna

1931-1932 F-Type Midget

The F Magna came along when the ‘parts bin’ practice was gaining popularity within the Nuffield Organisation and its 6-cylinder engine was borrowed from the Wolseley Hornet of the time. The model was quite popular during its poduction run with a total of 1250 F1, F2 and F3 Magnas built.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1932-1934 J-Type Midget

1932-1934 J-Type Midget

1932-1934 J-Type Midget

By 1932, cutaway doors, cycle-type front wings and fold-flat windreeen were becoming MG icons, with the J-Type continuing the theme. The J2 was the first MG to be supplied to the Police in any quantity with 19 purchased during the model’s  production run. Previously the Police had only used an 18/80 in Brighton and an M-Type in Edinburgh.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1932-1934 K-Type Magnette

1932-1934 K-Type Magnette

1932-1934 K-Type Magnette

The 6-cylinder K-Series was made in Tourer and Salonette form and achieved success in ciruit racing and straight-line record breaking in the hands of such notables as Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, Tazio Nuvolare and Dick Seaman.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1933-1934 L-Type Magna

1933-1934 L-Type Magna

1933-1934 L-Type Magna

The L-TYpe Magna, with its sloping radiator, was a good looking car, with a choice of open 2- and 4-seater open cars and a Salonette. The Continental Coupé version, described as “Very individual… striking looking” by The Autocar, did not sell in large quantities and it took over a year to dispose of the special bodies.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company.

1934-1936 N-Type Magnette

1934-1936 N-Type Magnette

1934-36 N-Type Magnette

The launch of the N-Type got off to a shaky start as some of the motoring press became confused and announced an engine size larger than it actually was, although Motor Sport took the opposite aproach, announcing a smaller size!

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company to 1935, then The Nuffield Organisation.

1934-1936 P-Type Midget

1934-1936 P-Type Midget

1934-36 P-Type Midget

The P-Type continued the OHC engine theme but benefited from a 3-bearing crankshaft, larger brakes and a stronger chassis. The interior was uprated with a wood veneered facia, bordered with chrome, with two downward facing lights. A Zoller supercharger was available with a fitting kit and special spark plugs. The PA, as it became known, did not sell well and was superceded after a year by the PB, with a novel feature of the later models being a warning light that lit up at 20mph and went out at 30mph to help guard against being caught out by the newly introduced speed limits of 1935.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The MG Car Company to 1935, then The Nuffield Organisation.

1936-1939 SA 2.0 litre

1936-1939 SA 2.0 litre

1936-39 SA 2-litre

The SA was the first of the S/V/W range of luxury saloons and coupés  and was seen as having the attributes of the SS Jaguar with the addition of MG’s racing heritage. Sales were good and a total of 2738 examples were sold.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1936-1939 TA Midget

1936-1939 TA Midget

1936-39 TA Midget

With the overhead camshaft engine coming to the end of its life within the Nuffield Organisation, MG was forced to switch to a pushrod engine for the TA Midget, although the company made the most of it and the car ended up slightly faster than the 6-cylinder SA. The TA came with hydraulic brakes and more elbow room than previous models.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1937-1939 VA 1.5-litre

1937-1939 VA 1.5-litre

1937-39 VA 1.5-litre

Next to join the luxury class of cars was the 1.5 litre VA in 1937. The combination of speed (the car achieved a speed of 80mph with the windscreen folded flat at Brooklands) and luxury, the car was a success and compared favourably with the SS Jaguar.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1938-1939 WA 2.6-litre

1938-1939 WA 2.6-litre

1938-39 WA 2.6-litre

Introduced in 1938, the final car in the S/V/W trio was the WA, a grand tourer in every sense of the word. The 6-cylinder engine benefited from a fully counterbalanced crankshaft, a first for any MG, with an oil cooler. Other features included Jaeger instruments, fitted toolkit, Jackall jacking system and a double bulkhead which was rubber sealed for noise insulation

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1939 TB Midget

1939 TB Midget

1939 TB Midget

Introduced in April 1939, the TB Midget used the new XPAG engine and gained a wider body, along with a few other minor improvements. Its production run lasted just a few months as production ceased at the beginnig of the Second World War, Sadly this was the last car to be produced under the jurisdiction of Cecil Kimber.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1939-1945 – World War II

No car production.

1940s

1945-1949 TC Midget

1945-1949 TC Midget

1945-49 TC Midget

With the end of World War II and the termination of war work it was time to get car production under way as soon as possible, but without the guiding hand of Cecil Kimber, who tragically died in a train crash in February 1945. With no time to develop a new model, it was decided that a revamp of the TB would have to suffice, resulting in the TC Midget. With exports essential in order to procure more steel, MG’s expertise in this field soon paid off, with a total of 10,000 TCs sold during its production run.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1947-1951 YA

1947-1951 YA

1947-51 YA

Although not the fastest car around at the time, the YA saloon was economical and handled well, making it a popular choice for the family man who aspired to owning a car bearing the MG badge. The YA also fared well in rallies and a total of 6158 cars were sold.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1948-1950 YT

1948-1950 YT

1948-50 YT

For those who didn’t want a saloon, but still needed a car larger than the TC, there was the YT open 4-seater.  Mechanically, the YT varied little from the YA, but was faster due to its lighter weight. Despite this, the model didn’t sell well, with just 877 built.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation.

1949-1953 TD Midget

1949-1953 TD Midget

1949-53 TD Midget

Despite criticism from MG traditionalists concerning its plain steel wheels, independent front suspension and saloon style bumpers, the TD sold well. The modification to drilled wheels, soon after the TD’s launch, would have boosted sales somewhat. A MkII version was introduced in 1950 to sell alongside the standard model. This was a tuned car for competitions, with stiffer front suspension, a modified cylinder head and minor exterior differences, one of which was a small bulge on the right hand side of the bonnet to clear the larger inlet manifold.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation to 1952, then British Motor Corporation.

1950s

1951-1952 YB

1951-1952 YB

1951-1952 YB

In 1951 the Y-Type received some modifications in the shape of a reduction from  from 16″ to 15″ wheels, along with improvements to the drive train, brakes and suspension. As all the changes were ‘under the skin’, they are hard to spot, in fact the differences between the YA and YB are indiscernible to the uninitiated!

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: The Nuffield Organisation

1953-1955 TF Midget

1953-1955 TF Midget

1953-55 TF Midget

The TF Midget wasn’t well received when it was introduced, mainly due to its old fashioned looks – external wings were becoming a thing of the past with the introduction of the more modern streamlined looks of the sports cars of the day. The model started off life with the 1250cc engine, replaced in 1954 with the 1500cc version, with a “TF”-1500 badge to distinguish it from its predecessor.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation.

1953-1956 ZA Magnette

1953-1956 ZA Magnette

1953-1956 ZA Magnette

The launch of the ZA Magnette was controversial, with many critics accusing BMC of dressing up a Wolseley with an MG badge, something we have become accustomed to and now refer to as badge engineering.  However, MG had worked their magic and the Magnette had superior handling, with the 2″ lower body contributing in no small measure. The Wolsely’s column gear change was replaced by a floor change.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation.

1955-1962 MGA & Coupé

1955-1962 MGA

1955-1962 MGA

The launch of the MGA, albeit a litle late on the ‘modern’ sports car scene, was met with much acclaim on both the motor show circuit and in the motoring press. Its sleek looks, increased power, superior handling and improved fuel economy ensured its success, with over 13,000 cars  built in its first year and 58,750 produced in total. The MGA Coupé appeared in late 1956 and proved popular with those drivers who felt that cold draughts and rain were best kept outside the car!

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation.

1956-1958 ZB Magnette

1956-1958 ZB Magnette

1956-1958 ZB Magnette

In 1956 the ZB Magnette received a more powerful engine and higher axle ration than its ZA predecessor but, some say sadly, the elegant ‘hockey stick’ front wing trim was replaced with a straight chrome strip. The ZB was also offered as the Varitone in a variety of attractive 2-colour combinations.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation.

1958-1960 MGA Twin-Cam

1958-1960 MGA Twin-Cam

MGA-Twin-Cam

The MGA Twin Cam wasn’t a great success, suffering from a noisy engine and heavy oil consumption, as much as a pint every 120 miles in extreme cases. Just 2111 Twin Cams were built.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation.

1959-1968 Farina Magnette Mark III & IV

1959-1968 Farina Magnette Mark III & IV

1959-1968 Farina Magnette Mark III & IV

The MkIII Farina bodied Magnette was not well received by the motoring press, who felt that the family saloon lacked individuality, although the car had better performance and a smarter interior than its Morris and Austin equivalents. Improvements made with the introduction of the MkIV in 1961 went a long way towards remedying the situation with an increase in engine size and power. This was further helped by the addition of front and rear anti-roll bars and the option of automatic transmission.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation to 1966, then British Motor Holdings.

1960s

1961-1974 Midget Mark I, II & III (chrome bumper)

1961-1974 Midget Mark I, II & III (chrome bumper)

1961-1979 Midget Mark I, II & III

By 1961, sales of the Austin-Healey ‘Frog Eye’ Sprite were falling and its redesign was a joint effort, with a new front end from the Healeys and the back end designed by MG. The MkII Sprite was, with very little change, also the MkI Midget. Improvements in 1964 resulted in the MkII Midget, which included improved suspension, crankshaft and some refinements to the interior, with winding windows also making an appearance. The MkIII, launched in 1966, featured a more sophisticated hood with some improvements to the gearbox and brakes.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation to 1966, British Motor Holdings to 1968, then British Leyland.

1962-1968 MG 1100

1962-1968 MG 1100

1961-1967 MG 1100

The 1100, with its transverse engine, integral gearbox and Hydrolastic suspension, was a  revolutionary car. The 55bhp MG1100 was launched a year after the Austin/Morris versions had established their place in the car market and it too was a success with nearly 117,000 cars produced.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation to 1966, then British Motor Holdings.

1962-1975 MGB Roadster (chrome bumper)

1962-1975 MGB Roadster (chrome bumper)

1962-1980 MGB Roadster

Launched in May 1962 as a two seater open sports car the MGB was an all-new design which, with its monocoque construction, 1800cc engine and superior handling, was an immediate hit with the motoring press and public alike. The Roadster continued with chrome bumpers and only minor cosmetic changes, such as the variations in grille design, until 1975.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation to 1966, British Motor Holdings to 1968, then British Leyland.

1965-1975 MGB GT (chrome bumper)

1965-1975 MGB GT (chrome bumper)

1965-1980 MGB GT

1965 saw the launch of the MGB GT which, while somewhat heavier than the Roadster, had a higher cruising speed due to it superior aerodynamics. Like the Roadster, the GT continued with chrome bumpers and only minor cosmetic changes, such as the variations in grille design, until 1975.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Corporation to 1966, British Motor Holdings to 1968, then British Leyland.

1967-1969 MGC

1967-1969 MGC

1967-1969 MGC

In 1967, with the Austin-Healey 3000 due to be phased out by the end of the year, the MGB Roadster and, in 1967 the GT, were deemed sturdy enough to receive a larger engine. This came in the form of the C-Series 3-litre straight six cast iron engine. Considerable modifications to the front suspension were required, together with a bulge in the bonnet for clearance, but they got there in the end and a top speed approaching 120mph made the MGC look very promising. However, the fact that the engine has to be mounted further foward than was ideal made the car nose-heavy, something that didn’t escape the notice of the motoring press. They branded the car as having “terminal understeer” which, while somewhat unjustified, kept the public from buying the car in any great quantity and the MGC was discontinued in 1969.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Holdings to 1968, then British Leyland.

1968-1971 MG 1300

1968-1971 MG 1300

1967-1971 MG 1300

1968 saw an increase in engine size from 1098cc to 1275cc and the MG 1100 was renamed the MG 1300 in line with the rest of the British Leyland range. Other changes included new rear light clusters, ventilated pressed steel wheels and, internally, revised seating and improved facia and instrumentation.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Motor Holdings to 1968, then British Leyland.

1970s

1973-1976 MGB GT V8

1973-1976 MGB GT V8

1973-1976 MGB GT V8

The first V8 MGB was first produced in 1970, not by MG, but by Ken Costello who squeezed a Rover V8 engine into the engine bay. Performance was, understandably, excellent but it was an expensive car at £2443, compared to £1570 for  3-litre Capri and £998 for a 4-cylinder MGB GT. Quite a few Costello V8s have survived and can, distinguished by their distinctive bonnet bulge, still be seen at events. In the meantime, the MG developers had been planning their own MGB GT V8 for some time and the model was finally launched in August 1973, although this could have happened in 1972 had the company not been held back by British Leyland’s development budget constraints. There are a few earlier examples of the V8 on the road nowadays, mostly development and pre-production cars, as well as a car that was loaned to the Police for evaluation in January 1973. In 1974 the V8 acquired the ‘rubber’ bumpers which were fitted to the rest of the range to meet front impact requirements, even though the V8 never exported.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Leyland.

1974-1979 Midget 1500 (rubber bumper)

1974-1979 Midget 1500 (rubber bumper)

Midget-1500-RB

The popular Midget put on some weight in 1974 with the addition of the urethane moulded ‘rubber’ bumpers with a very solid steel framework behind them. This, coupled with an inch added to the ride height, made a substantial difference to the handling of the car, although the extra weight was offset by the 1500cc Spitfire engine, together with an improved gearbox. Midget production ended in 1979 when closure of the MG factory was announced.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Leyland.

1975-1979 MGB Roadster & GT (rubber bumper)

1975-1979 MGB Roadster & GT (rubber bumper)

MGB Roadster (rubber bumper)MGB GT (rubber bumper)

Both the MGB Roadster and GT suffered from the problem of the oversized bumpers which added 70lbs (31.8kg) to the car’s weight. Naturally, the car’s handling was severely affected and an anti-roll bar was fitted at the rear, with the font one beefed up to counteract the body roll. The performance loss due to the added weight was exacerbated by the emission control equipment that had been added to the engine. The changes were due to American safety and emmision regulations, which wouldn’t have had too much of an effect on sales had the UK market cars been left alone, but the performance loss and ungainly looks were off-putting to UK buyers and sales dropped by 10,000 units a year. An Anniversary Edition GT was produced in limited numbers in 1975, with a Limited Edition version in metallic gold for the Roadster and silver metallic for the GT following in 1980, several months after the closure of the MG factory had been announced.

Built in Abingdon.
Parent Company: British Leyland.

1980s

1982-1990 Metro

1982-1990 Metro

1982-1990 Metro

The first MG following the closure of the MG factory in Abingdon was the MG derivative of the Metro, with MG branding in the form of body graphics, a new grille, alloy wheels and an aerodynamic rear window surround. Performance from the 1300cc A Series engine was improved with extensive changes resulting in an additional 12bhp.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: Austin-Rover to 1986, then Rover Group.

1983-1990 Metro Turbo

1983-1990 Metro Turbo

1983-1990 Metro Turbo

In 1983 a turbo was added to the Metro which, combined with contactless ignition, increased the engine’s power to 93bhp. Both versions of the Metro continued through to 1990.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: Austin-Rover to 1986, then Rover Group.

1983-1991 Maestro 1.6 & 2.0 EFI

1983-1991 Maestro 1.6 & 2.0 EFI

1983-1991 Maestro

The 1600cc MG Maestro didn’t have a good start in life. With its Austin-Rover R Series engine, twin Weber carbuerretors and electronic ignition, plus asymetric folding rear seats and good ride quality, it should have been a resounding success. However, it was a heavy car with hot-starting problems and poor fuel economy – its electronic facia and voice synthesiser didn’t win it many friends either. This first model was replaced by the Maestro 2.0 EFI just a year later.

With an O Series engine and Honda gearbox the new Maestro was, as one dealer put it, “… how the car should have been in the first place“. The dashboard was once again analogue, although the digital version was available as an option, and there were various exterior improvements to make the car sportier in appearance. With the resulting increase in performance, the Maestro was finally a worthy competitor in the hot hatch market, previously dominated by the Golf GTi and Astra GTE.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: Austin-Rover to 1986, then Rover Group.

1984-1991 Montego

1984-1991 Montego

1984-1991 Montego

The Montego was, broadly speaking, a longer version of the Maestro with a roomy boot. The MG derivative had the O Series 2.0 EFi engine with fuel injection and electronic ignition and was distinguishable as an MG by the use of red colouring in liberal quantities, with red stripes in the bumpers, red seat belts, red instrument graphics and red upholstery trim.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: Austin-Rover to 1986, then Rover Group.

1985-1991 Montego Turbo

1985-1991 Montego Turbo

1985-1991 Montego Turbo

Following the popularity of the Maestro Turbo, the Montego was next in line for added power, although the turbos in the early models were somewhat unruly. After some experimentation, the turbo lag was reduced to an acceptable level, although torque steer when the turbo kicked in at 3500rpm still took some getting used to. With modifications made to the car’s aerodynamics following complaints about stability issues, the Montego Turbo was a good value car, meeting a demand for turbo performance at a price lower than most cars in its bracket.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: Austin-Rover to 1986, then Rover Group.

1989 Maestro Turbo

1989 Maestro Turbo

1989 Maestro Turbo

Putting the Montego’s turbocharged engine into the Maestro proved to be a good move, making it the fastest production MG  to date, with a top speed just short of 130mph. However, despite improved handling, wheelspin when coming out of corners was common due to the increased power. Changes to the car’s appearance were commissioned by Tickford in Bedworth, near Coventry.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: The Rover Group.

1990s

1993-1995 RV8

1993-1995 RV8

1993-1995 RV8

The RV8 was first conceived in the late 1980s as a possible project for British Motor Heritage at Gaydon. Then known as Project Adder, the RV8 was intended as a blend of MGB tradition, luxury and V8 power, aimed at the affluent middle-aged driver who had a sense of nostalgia but wanted comfort with his or her performance. BMH decided that the project could not be justified in terms of cost, but fortunately the idea was taken up by Rover Special Products, although the bodies were made by British Motor Heritage before being sent to Cowley for finishing and assembly. Much refinement followed and the RV8 was launched at the October 1992 Motor Show. The fuel-injected Rover 3900cc V8 delivered 190bhp and, with its sumptuous leather uphostery and elegant wood dashboard and door cappings, the car made an excellent tourer for those who weren’t out to break any records! 2000 RV8s were produced, with 80% exported to Japan, although many of those cars have now been re-imported.

Built in Gaydon & Cowley.
Parent Company: The Rover Group.

1995-2002 MGF

1995-2002 MGF

1995-2002 MGF

While the RV8 had been successfully filled a specific niche in low numbers, the MGF was intended as a modern all-out sports car for all ages, in a market that was becoming dominated by the Mazda MX5. The MGF was launched in 1995 with 2 models available, the 1.8i and 1.8VVC, the latter’s name being derived from from the model’s Variable Valve Control. The car was well received and pre-production orders exceeded expectations. There was no shortage of limited editions, with the Abingdon LE (Spring 1998), 75 LE (March 1999), MY2000 (Autumn 1999), Steptronic (2000), Wedgwood SE (July 2000), Trophy 160 (May 2001) and the Freestyle (Autumn 2001). There was also a 1.6i, aimed at the cheaper end of the sports car market, but stull fun to drive.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: The Rover Group to 2000, then MG Rover.

2000s

2001-2005 ZR

2001-2005 ZR

2001-2005 ZR

The new millennium saw the Rover Group aquired by the Phoenix Consortium and a change of name to MG Rover. Derived from the Rover 25, the MG ZR was launched with K Series engines ranging from the 103ps 1.4 litre to the 160ps 1.8 litre VVC, with the option of either a 101ps or 113ps diesel engine. For the first time in MG’s long history a van variant of the ZR was produced, with a choice of 103ps/160ps petrol engines or 101ps/113ps diesel engines. 2004 saw a facelift for the ZR with many exterior and interior changes giving the car a more modern look.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: MG Rover.

2001-2005 ZS

2001-2005 ZS

2001-2005 ZS

The new millennium saw the Rover Group aquired by the Phoenix Consortium and a change of name to MG Rover. Derived from the Rover 45, the MG ZS was launched with K Series engines ranging from the 120ps 1.8 litre to the 177ps 2.5 litre V6, with the option of either a 101ps or 113ps diesel engine, or an economy 110ps 1.6 litre K Series petrol engine. 2004 saw a facelift for the ZS with many exterior and interior changes giving the car a more modern look.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: MG Rover.

2001-2005 ZT & ZT-T

2001-2005 ZT & ZT-T

2001-2005 ZT2001-2005 ZT-T

The new millennium saw the Rover Group aquired by the Phoenix Consortium and a change of name to MG Rover. Derived from the Rover 75, the MG ZT and ZT-T estate were launched with engines ranging from the 120ps 1.8 litre to the 260ps 4.6 litre V8, plus the option of a 2 litre diesel engine. 2004 saw a facelift for the ZT with many exterior and interior changes giving the car a more modern look.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: MG Rover.

2002-2005 MG TF

2002-2005 MG TF

2002-2005 MG TF

The MGF was given a facelift in 2005 and renamed the TF. The exterior changes weren’t just cosmetic, the emphasis was on aerodynamics, with a new new front bumper aimed at reducing front-end lift, plus a lip spoiler on the back end. Other changes included a change from the MGF’s Hydragas suspension to coil springs with a multi-link rear axle. A new range of body colours was introduced in line with the Z range with new colours for the interior and hood.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: MG Rover.

2004-2005 SV & SV-R

2004-2005 SV & SV-R

2003-2005 SV2004-2005 SV-R

The SV started life as the De Tomaso Bigua, which then changed hands and became the Qvale Mangusta, before being taken on by MG and launched in 2004 as the MG SV. The car was developed by MG Sport & Racing and was powered by a 320bhp 4.6 litre Ford V8 which, with a lightweight carbon fibre body, finely tuned chassis and custom interior, made it very desirable. The chassis and body were manufactured in Italy and shipped to the UK for assembly and finishing. The 380bhp 5.0 litre Ford V8 engined SV-R followed. Both cars were fitted with telemetry that communicated with MG Sport & Racing on the car’s condition and adjustments could be made remotely by them, although this stopped when MG-Rover collapsed in 2005, taking MG Sport & Racing with it. Just 50 cars were built.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: MG Rover.

2005 to 2008 - no car production

2005-2008

By 2004 the Phoenix Consortium were struggling. Things had not gone well; a deal with Tom Walkinshaw Racing foundered in 2003 with the collapse of TWR, the TATA City Rover failed to meet expectations, and the £10m paid for the Qvale Mangusta, together with the design and production costs of the SV and SV-R, had made a huge dent in the bank balance. Matra were approached for a joint venture which didn’t materialise – likewise a potantial deal with Proton failed to bear fruit. China Brilliance Industrial Holdings (CBIH) were very interested and things looked promising for a while, but eventually, they too pulled out.

In November 2003 the news broke that the Phoenix Four, as they came to be known, has opened a pension fund worth £12.9m for rhemselves and their families. Things went downhill as their credibility evaporated and the future of Phoenix Consortium was looking uncertain. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) arrived on the scene in June 2004 and talks were in progress regarding a joint venture. Things were moving in the right direction with around £67m promised in return for Intellectual Property Rights of the 25, 75, TF cars and the K Series engine. However, despite encouraging press releases being issued from Longbridge, SAIC pulled out having lost confidence in MG Rover’s viability.

Car production ceased at Longbridge on 7th April 2005 withe loss of 6000 jobs.

2008-2010 TF LE500, 135 & 85th Anniverasry

2008-2010 TF LE500, 135 & 85th Anniverasry

2008-2010 TF LE5002008-2010 TF 1352009-2010 TF 85th Anniverasry

Following the acquisition of the remains of MG Rover by the Chinese Nanjing Automotive Company, later to merge with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), the first car to be released onto the UK market was the MG TF LE500, in September 2008. The car featured a redesigned nose cone, revamped interior, improvements to the N Series engine (renamed from K Series to shake off its head gasket failure reputation) and was made in a numbered edition of 500 cars.

The next model, launched in September 2009, was the TF135. This was a base model, mechanically identical to the LE500, but with a lower specification. The first 110 cars still had the leather seats of the LE500 – cloth seats were fitted from then on.

Launched around the same time was the TF 85th Anniversary to celebrate 85 years of MG. The model came with a generous specification, with a choice of 3 body colours, graphic stripes, a new ‘Twisted Pepper’ design of alloy wheels, together with leather seats and other interior improvements. Handling and ride were also much improved.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: Nanjing Automotive.

2010s

2011 to present... MG6

2011 to present… MG6

MG6 GTMG6 Magnette

In 2007 the Nanjing Automotive Company (NAC) merged with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and cars were sold under the name MG Motor UK. The first car to tbe launched was the 3-door hatchback MG6 GT in S, SE and TSE form in May 2011. This was followed a month later by a 4-door saloon version, the MG6 Magnette. The MG6 GT BTCC Special Edition was launched in January 2013 to celebrate MG’s successful return to the British Touring Car Championship. There was also a 90th Limited Edition to selebrate 90 years of MG.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: MG Motor UK

2013 to present… MG3

2013 to present… MG3

2013 to present… MG3

MG Motors’ entry into the ‘pocket rocket’ market, the MG3, was lauched in September 2013 and has proved to be popular. The car offered a choice of 10 body colours, 2 wing mirror colours, 10 graphic packs and 2 types of alloy wheel.

Built in Longbridge.
Parent Company: MG Motor UK