3 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on MG RV8



(January 2006)

If classic coupled with modern is your bag, the MG RV8 could be for you


Having clung to during the 1980s via a string of sedans, MG’s return to the of sports car manufacturers seemed improbable. Then in 1992 news of a revamped and re-engineered of the MGB; a car that at the time of its in 1981 held the all-time for sports car production.

By the early the name that traced its to a Morris Cowley modified in by Cecil Kimber was owned by and the revamped ‘B’ was to be developed by the boutique offshoot, Rover Products. And a special product it was

The car that became known as the RV8 use a 3.9-litre fuel-injected engine from the company’s successful Rover. The body was almost restyled and the car’s plush owned nothing to the vinyl and ‘crackle’ finish of its progenitor.

zinc-coated bodyshells supplied by Motor Heritage, the basic and general outline of the RV8 harked to the 1960s. But there ended any to retro design. All of the external were reshaped and just percent of the car’s components the same as those used by the MGB, while updated and improved steel quality to enhanced durability.

The RV8’s overall shape similarities to its 1960s antecedent but was a distinction of style with of Rolls-Royce Corniche and Jaguar. from the rear did the car’s become apparent and even the look was more akin to a Midget than the MGB.

the influence of Rover was all pervading a full-width wood veneer and door cappings, leather and steering wheel, instruments as far as the eye see plus a decent sound and optional air-conditioning but no central or electric windows.

Power the fuel-injected V8 was a very understressed produced at 4750rpm and delivered a five-speed manual gearbox was designed to handle Range levels of abuse and was further during the RV8 production run. Top was better than 210km/h 0-100km/h taking around Braking was by ventilated front with drums at the rear but few RV8 were perturbed by the lack of a layout.

Redesigning the suspension to many of the four-cylinder car’s was a priority. Ball joints kingpins at the front, with shock absorbers and a massive bar. Not much could be about dependence on rear springs, but at least the design of the was updated and modern shockers a torque-sensing differential employed.

RV8 production began in 1992, cars painstakingly hand-built in a workshop within Rover’s factory that at its peak had 18 employees. Output was pegged at cars, with almost earmarked for Japanese delivery and by their extended wheel and ‘Rover’ badging.

Russell trophy-winning RV8 was bought new in Japan by an and returned home with its When acquired by Ball in 2003 the car had travelled just and was in virtually unmarked condition.

It had used so little that the wheel cylinders had seized and to be replaced to pass the pre-sale Ball said.

Since its the car has undertaken several MG Club and impressed Ball with its and cruising ability.

I originally looking for a Healey but found it too he explained. Then I tested the RV8 and proved to have the perfect of strong performance and sporty


Providing your aren’t unreasonably high is a lot to like about the RV8.

off there’s the engine – and responsive with plenty of and satisfying sound effects a relatively restricted exhaust Burying the accelerator away the traffic lights brings an unavoidable shriek from the tyres and a near immediate as first gear runs out of at around 55km/h. The remainder of the are well spaced, with gear good for almost and third running to 130km/h.

Tests of new RV8s criticized the for its notchy characteristics but the car that me with an entertaining weekend a few back had spent five and 15,000km in the hands of a Japanese and its shift had become buttery

Japanese market cars all air-conditioned and fitting the A/C compressor no space for a power steering so the RV8’s steering demands effort in tight situations. If the of assistance translated into response on the open road probably forgive its omission, but a chosen line through bends demands concentration and but constant jiggling of the wheel.

who drove the car on a wet racetrack determined the rear was easy to slide and that’s probably right, you to be pushing pretty hard normal driving conditions to serious strife. Bumpy and corrugations will get the back end but for cruising down to the bay on a warm or eating kilometres on decently highways an RV8 has few peers.

Those spent time in the draughty and confines of an MGB cockpit will be by the RV8 interior. The leather-trimmed seats are and reasonably supportive, instrumentation is and everything – thanks to the cabin – is within reach. Tall drivers find the high-set seats a bit of a and the windscreen header rail at eye level.

They will also real problems driving the top up as its design significantly reduces when compared with the available in a 1960s ‘B’.

economy and long-distance cruising are not the RV8’s fortes. Space restrict the fuel tank to 51 litres which, combined average consumption in the region of means a visit to the Premium pump every 300-350kms.


RV8s weren’t sold new in and the vast majority of cars in our are grey imports from Less than 150 have imported and Stewart Radcliff of RV8 Cars says that quality stock remains but is becoming more expensive.

cars are the only ones we are to comply under RAWS Automotive Workshop Scheme) and British importers in the market as it’s getting a bit difficult to low-kilometre cars at reasonable Radcliff said. Red cars are the popular and expensive but it’s still possible to import and a very good RV8 for less $45,000.

Cars that been in this country for to ten years and showing 50,000-80,000km can be for less than $35,000, untidy examples needing repairs and mechanical work in the bracket.


Zinc plating of the body should have protected from noticeable rot. Not so the surround that can suffer corrosion, especially at the base. The bumpers need to be checked for and poor repairs as replacements are and difficult to source. Make that the boot support are still doing their job and on seeing the hood erected to for tears as replacements currently $1800.

Australian-complied cars carry an Import Approval in the engine bay, be fitted a high-mount stop light on the and have plates in the door faces indicating that bars have been

Engine Transmission

Low kilometres always a guarantee of untroubled according to Stewart Radcliff who the water pumps on any cars his imports as a matter of course. check the car’s service to see if all the fuel filters – one in the tank – have recently replaced. Once the reaches operating temperature, that the underbonnet cooling are working.

Gearbox problems are seen and the differential should be – if not avoid the car as UK-sourced cost more than

Front suspension sag causes to foul the inner mudguards but is corrected by fitting reset springs. Steering is naturally at low speeds but should operate any notchiness. Retro-fit power-steering previously not available on air-conditioned – can now be obtained.

Cars have covered minimal often suffer inoperative brakes due to seized wheel The wheels are prone to corrosion but is possible at around $150 per

Interior Electrical

No Lucas of Darkness’ problems with MG. Electrical gremlins are rare but that the A/C blows cold air and the fan on all speeds. If the remote locking battery fails the car won’t so carry a spare battery in the Neglected leather that hard and crackly can be revived but or failed stitching demand the of a quality trimmer. Timberwork be free of cracks and discolouration.

sure that the leather-bound is present and that the boot-mounted CD operates.


BUILT: 2000

BODY: construction, all steel, two-door

ENGINE: 3.9-litre pushrod V8 Lucas multi-point fuel

POWER TORQUE: 142kW @ 318Nm @ 3200rpm

PERFORMANCE: – 6.7 seconds, 0-400m 15.9sec

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