MG ZT 260 review

16 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on MG ZT 260 review

A British car once heralded the of front-engined and front-wheel drive for the masses. There are undeniable advantages to this layout, and was enough for the majority of the world to it as the standard. Even Lotus, for financial reasons, dabbled the arrangement in the early nineties for its sportscar.

One of the biggest proponents has been what is now named MG

Fast forward from the adoption of front-wheel drive in the and ’80s to 2004: a year in driver appeal is in vogue more as the manufacturers attempt to themselves. There are many front-wheel drive cars appeal to the more demanding but, and this is a big but: the driver’s cars are still by the rear wheels only. It that MG decided that was the only way for its range-topping saloon to be seriously.

When the ZT and Rover 75 originally launched, it was generally that the formula was good. We the ZT 190 and concluded that the car was indeed one a driver would like. The drive chassis seemed to very well with the power output, and performance was It seems that was not brisk for MG, and the decision was made to aim higher.

The next logical step was to fit a V8. Rover’s own Buick-based V8 is no more. The all-aluminium 4.6-litre V8, as found in Mustang sold in the US market like a good candidate.

We heard of this project a of years ago, and I must to wondering just how much it cost to re-engineer a front-wheel car to be rear-wheel driven. Prodrive and carried out a lot of the work, amongst and the production car showed its head year. The transformation is unremarkable on the albeit our test car was sprayed lurid Monogram Chromactive (Ј2,200).

Elsewhere, the styling is different to the front-wheel drive MG ZT There are bespoke alloy and a small spoiler on the boot, the biggest clue comes the four exhaust pipes the rear bumper. If you look you will also spy a V8 badge on wing.

The ZT was mildly facelifted this year, and it now more ever looks like a sports saloon.

There was nothing much with the interior of the ZT. The shape is and curvy; fit and finish are top class and all the works in a well-weighted fashion. Not that; there is a sense of in the cockpit thanks to the oval-shaped and sporty wheel and gear

The ZT 260 is enhanced with distinctive trim, sculpted leather the addition of a proud V8 badge in the of the dash is a nice touch. is ample space for 4-5 adults and the is certainly sizeable enough.

But you can get all in a regular ZT. Why would you want to Ј6,400 more than the ZT 190? Turn the ignition key of the ZT 260 and question is quickly forgotten. The V8 is muted, but unmistakable. You will to open your window and the throttle just for the sake of it.

The bass tone of the engine is though never so intrusive as to from the cruising ability of the ZT When accelerating hard you are to a refined woofle from four tailpipes. Personally want to hear the engine than MG Rover has allowed in car, but perhaps the after tuners can provide a suitable system for that purpose.

No doubt drive-by noise have gagged the V8’s chords a little.

There is wrong with the power from this engine The peak power figure at all disappointing, but doesn’t tell the story. The numbers that most are the peak torque of at 4000rpm and the availability of more 260lb.ft all the way from 1500 5000rpm. This wide gives the car satisfying and effortless allowing overtaking manoeuvres to be completed without any need for a

Indeed, you generally find relying on the engine’s pulling rather than revving it; not it isn’t a thrilling experience to this unit to its redline. It is just as well that the encourages less use of the gearbox. The 5-speed transmission is not a fast-shifting and is allied to a heavy clutch.

The weighting suits the butch of the car, but will certainly put off buyers.


This weightiness pervades aspects of the MG ZT 260. The steering for is not quite finger-light, even at speeds. The steering system is to the front-wheel drive cars, and is direct.

Unburdened with to control feedback from the wheels, it also has plenty of feel (except around the ahead), allowing you to exploit the chassis.

Ah yes, the chassis! look at the facts first: is a new multi-link rear axle and limited slip differential. Up we have inverted mono-tube type suspension allied to new quick ratio steering The inclusion of a limited slip hints at the chassis engineers’

Here lies a truly driver’s car. It is just enough for everyday and family but it comes alive on a twisty though its forte is fast roads. It felt like a and heavier Honda S2000 in respects. The traction control is not in the dry at all; the rear end can be played with confidence: it really is dependable. Once you get brave it is pretty easy to slide the safely – it has certainly developed with that in

Understeer is rarely present

In the damp, the grippy Continental Contact tyres ensure you come unstuck. The traction is a little heavy handed for a driver’s car, cutting the for what seems like an The ABS also comes in too quickly, I suppose it reminds you that you are a heavy sports saloon, not a coupe.

This was a little given the grip from the and the huge ventilated discs and rear. Though the chassis is body control is exemplary. own self-control could be the only

Of course, if you exhibit the same of self-control we tend to manage such a superb car to drive you pay for it. The ZT is not a light car, with a weight of nearly 1700kg, so it a lot of energy to go and stop and turn This means expensive brakes and tyre bills.

We only 500 miles on three of unleaded, despite some cruising around Derbyshire. I expect most owners to no more than 20mpg. that, the 2.5-litre V6-engined ZT 190 only travel another miles on the same gallon of and I know which car I’d put my jerry can of fuel into.

MG Rover has created a truly sports saloon in the ZT 260. It is and fantastic to drive; there is for the family and their luggage. We to think of any real rival at the

There is a smattering of rally in Subaru Impreza or Mitsubishi Evo but they probably do not appeal to the demographic. BMW saloons are closer to the but for Ј28,000 you can have only a the 3.0-litre straight-six is a gem and the car is not much than the ZT 260, but it does not the same sense of occasion or the space. The BMW 5-series is a lot more

This is how the ZT should have from the start. Long the rear-wheel drive sports

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