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MG takes Extreme measures

Road rocket: The fire-breathing MGF Extreme is powered by a turbocharged 330kW engine. The bad news is that it is a one-off car built for demonstration purposes only.

MG has pulled the wraps off undoubtedly the quickest MGF on the planet

19 Jun 2001

MG'S performance arm - known as X Power - has revealed the first in a series of Extreme cars designed to boost the company's profile.

The ridiculously powerful - yet road legal - MGF Extreme is powered by essentially the same turbocharged 2.0-litre engine used in the MG Lola Le Mans car. Its mid-mounted 330kW powerplant is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Reformed bodywork with aerodynamic aids, modified suspension components and larger alloy wheels to enable it to cope with the massive power increase - up more than 200 per cent from the 108kW, 1.8-litre VVC model.

Further down the track, MG will reveal the Rover 75-based ZT Extreme, which will have even more power than its roadster sibling with a highly modified 370kW, V8 engine driving the rear wheels.

This represents a complete turnaround on the current spec sheet, which shows the 75 and the "cooking" ZT with a V6 engine driving the front wheels.

There will also be Extreme versions of the ZR and ZS models - based on the Rover 25 and 45 respectively.

The MG ZR will have close links to its rally car cousin while the ZS will tie in with next year's entry in the British Touring Car Championship.

At this stage the Extreme derivatives are one-off vehicles, specially built for demonstration and promotional purposes.

They are being produced as a link between the motorsport programs and the mainstream MG models, and are a key part of the manufacturer's "X-Power/Product Excitement Strategy".

The mainstream MG models are set for June production and should be in UK showrooms by August. We are likely to get the ZT early next year.

Meanwhile, MG Rover has announced it will buy Italian sports car maker Qvale.

The acquisition will enhance MG Rover's sports car technology and could result in moving some of Rover Group's manufacturing operations out of the UK for the first time.

Qvale Automotive Group builds its Mangusta sports cars in Modena, Italy, and sells them in Europe and the US. The company was formed by a family of San Francisco car dealers made famous by selling British sports cars in the United States.

The Mangusta, which sells for about $158,000 in the US, competes against similarly priced Porsches, Jaguars and the US-built Panoz Esperante. The company hopes to eventually build up to 1000 cars annually.

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