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First pictures: MG's new TF

Nice to nose you: The four-slot front-end is MG's new corporate look.

MG's new roadster will be on sale in Australia by July

10 Jan 2002

MG Rover has revealed the first pictures of its replacement for the MGF roadster - the MG TF.

While retaining the MGF's transverse mid-mounted engine layout, the MG TF - which shares its name with the MG sports car first launched in 1953 - has been substantially re-styled.

It also has a conventional rear suspension in place of the linked Hydragas set-up, revised interior treatment and higher performance from some of its K-Series engines.

Four models have been announced - the 1.6-litre TF115, TF135 manual, TF120 Stepspeed sports auto and the TF160.

All bar the base model TF115 will go on sale in Australia in July, replacing the existing range. The bad news is pricing will go up when the new cars arrive.

"The price of the MGF hasn't actually been raised since the launch in 1997, apart from the GST," explained MG Rover Australia marketing and communications general manager David Watson. "Obviously, exchange rates have gone all over the place so it's going to be quite a big step-up."The main victim will be the TF135, which will rise from the current base model's $42,270 price much closer to $50,000, although buyers will get a 12kW increase to go with that.

The TF160 will not increase much in price and not at all in power over the model it replaces, the Trophy, which retails for $54,990.

The MG TF re-style, performed by English designer Peter Stevens, lowers the car and includes a new nose with the four-slot corporate look first seen on the X80 concept at Frankfurt last year.

There's also a larger MG badge and grille aperture, projector headlights, reprofiled flanks and new mid-engine air-intakes, integral spoiler in the boot lid and larger exhausts in the rear bumper housing.

The suspension revisions bid goodbye to the sometimes troublesome pneumatic Hydragas suspension, replacing it with coil springs working with a multi-link rear axle with revised linkages.

The front suspension has also been revised and the ABS brake system boosted. In addition, MG Rover engineers have increased the rigidity of the subframes on which the suspension is mounted, to improve driveability.

Equipment levels are unlikely to change significantly from MGF to MG TF and the interior revisions do not, unfortunately, improve the questionable ergonomics of the cabin, instead concentrating on revised instrumentation and new trim fabrics.

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