One of our Dinosaurs is missing: On the trail of a unique MG ZT-T prototype – AROnline

26 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on One of our Dinosaurs is missing: On the trail of a unique MG ZT-T prototype – AROnline

One of our Dinosaurs is missing: On the trail of a MG ZT-T prototype

Steven Ward

2006 MG ZT-T

I do regular Internet of what the country’s motor have in store for us MG Rover My search last Monday at first glance, revealed of note. The trade is in a buying currently, so there is less the auctions and what does, rapidly.

However, I did a quick of one particular search and unexpectedly gold. The details of a 2008/08-plated 190 SE appeared on the screen. WOOF!

over 6000 guaranteed covered, direct from a dealer chain #8211; The Car #8211; and it was entering its sale (as in NOW! ). This caught me as usually a car is listed for sale at least a few days#8217; notice.

this bad boy was soon parachuting into the middle of the sale, lot number and with a question hanging over the whereabouts of the car was at BCA’s Derby site with me being north of the only way I could see the beast was to BCA TV (so much better than telly). This was a hit and miss as I was busy and, because the car had no lot I couldn’t predict when it rumble into the ‘ring.

favouring the brave, I caught it. The log was now present and it was declared manufactured according to the auctioneer. Bidding was strong and the fell at £7200 plus astonished me, but there is a clientele out who’ll pay for unmolested Class .

forward to Tuesday night. to tears with the dreary TV and a snoring Airedale pushing me off the I sought mental refuge in AuctionView site with a desire to stumble across else unusual. Guess what was in Technicolor?

 Our 2008 which previously at 1630 that night, was unlisted. 

The game was afoot again this time the car was properly photographed and had undergone a basic report. Due into Wednesday#8217;s Car Group#8217; sale, this was lot 1. The report into the vehicle good, but the pictures, well didn’t quite ring ZT-T was sporting a front which looked like a V8 job that had been painted black in places, yet it still the Octagon.

Why? A poor front-end Maybe it had left the factory with whatever was to hand? That#8217;s possible.

Maybe though, maybe, this car was a bit special. Certainly, its were. Where were the roof for a top-spec car? I could see the fin for the High-Line? I sent my chum who was the details, just to share the

 What he uncovered led to a series of late night ‘phone and emails between us, Those Who There (Flightshed, Longbridge that is) and anyone else we think of with clues as to vehicles history.

Our first was a thread unearthed on the Rover 75 ZT on the subject of one-off MGR prototypes. This a series of pictures of this ZT-T with a man pointing to of the cars trick-bits. I recognised the although he’d never me as we’ve not really met.

mind, I knew a man who’d his ‘phone number. Two calls and I was ‘phoning a man at 2100 hours to ask he was doing in this ZT-T 33 months ago. The man in question was previously of Friarsgate MG Rover,

 Nick, nicknamed ‘Austin’ to that know of him, was an ace for Friarsgate MG Rover. He had set-up – Austin Garages – just MGR’s collapse with the doing his but to keep the Class on the

Nick, initially taken went on to regale me – a complete – with tales and features of ZT-T in a fashion that shame Rain Man .  The car was this and Nick had worked on it. Co-incidentally and spookily, he had just been about this car to a colleague in the week, wondering what had to it. With thanks to Nick and a few from MGR circles, I’ve together what I believe to be the behind this vehicle.

the ZT-T went down the assembly lines in March as highline 190. Plucked the line at a certain stage, the car a fully-engineered prototype which was to become the proving car for 2006 of the ZT range. That#8217;s why, as Nick #8216;that car has a list of unusual and features as long as your

Nick also said it was a very, sweet car, but noted in his opinion, the car shouldn’t be retailed to expecting a standard ZT-T or, an everyday car. This ZT-T is too bespoke to be a viable motor car as see. It is quite hard to (indeed, remember) all the features, but cover the basics.


The car features a different and larger air filter housing has been relocated. The KV6 is fully 4 compliant and that means a throttle. It#8217;s also a new type of ECU and throttle body by Bosch (as opposed to Siemens). In the exhaust system was all new and featured an catalyst.

A new design of coolant tan was present and features a too low-coolant lamp, which works! An has been sent Nic Fasci who led the programme for MGR to see if he can shed any further of this engine and the targets set for it.

The car was equipped with DSC stability (and all that entails for components) and a new traction control Engineers at the time reckoned that was a very subtle and installation that wasn’t so it was likely to be a great to the already very strong ZT Indeed, for the true enthusiast, systems are generally counter-intuitive, so it likely that MGR would won great praise for this system.

Incidentally, the DSC and the of the braking system were by TRW and not Bosch.  However, the on this car#8217;s steering column new) were missing with the that the system does not

 We believe that, if you were you could source the sensors a MG6 or Roewe 750, but this is an educated guess. We hope to with some of MGR’s old Engineers shortly for more and insight.


The wiring and its and, indeed, the vast of the sensors on this car are also and owe very little to what before. MG Rover Group at the time, making a concerted to rid their cars of the BMW-supplied items which looked bad and the company a fortune.  This car was to the way in MGR-sourced sensors and it was here were being tested.

car should, therefore, have been cheaper  for the to build and have banished gremlins in certain sensors frequently give trouble.

The car also featured a new alarm and system which wasn’t set-up #8211; that it had a standard ZT Valeo but the later style alarm/remote fob the rest of the Longbridge range, in Ireland. Interestingly, these which were fitted across all the 45/ZS and TF ranges in 2004 designed to house the key instead of the key and fob separate on the keyring.

It looks that, in this installation, the between key and fob would have imagine the new system would been cheaper to supply and more commonality across MGR would, though, be concerned if the locks were deleted in of the rather cheap, frail items featured on the rest of the MGR

The front bumper as mentioned was fish nor fowl. Outwardly to the Rover 260 design, this car was to certain sections painted black, similar to what is in vogue on sporty Seat The old supplier of these ‘Premier has been contacted and they confirmed that they tasked with productionising mock-up, although there better detailed mock-ups at MGR the one fitted to this car.

is quite a pleasing aspect as it just how in touch with the trends the Design Team at MGR that also applies to the fitted to this ZT-T although not to everyone’s taste, are very similar to what fitted to Ford’s Titanium Again, we have emailed people from the disbanded MGR Team for further details.

What must be emphasised car is that it was an engineering prototype and it was equipped with all the scientific kit expect to find. That is to say correctly instruments, ports to plug in and other diagnostic and analytical A big red ‘STOP’ button features ECU unusually had serial ports.

the above list of enhancements is by no definitive and is a guide based on of various people.

Who, When and Why?

This is the water muddies and what must be considered hearsay. We all that, during the great Sale that PricewaterhouseCoopers during the administration period of cars which should have been crushed sold on to the Trade and these were sold to unsuspecting

Many so-called specialist MGR and car supermarkets, who should have better, sold cars for money which were that would prove to be unserviceable or unsafe. No manufacturer have allowed these off tools cars out of the factory. The during 2005 was unprecedented in the industry.

 However, it seems this car late 2007/early 2008. The car is to have ended-up being to a member of the public from a car outlet for around £13,000 in 2008 when it was registered in

Anyway, if this is the case, the car left Longbridge during the period when NAC was forcibly over by SAIC Motor. The few members of staff who had worked in during the administration period now let go after surviving bankruptcy and they’d been saved to see the New World. We’d love to know about what went on in during this time, but are few and all very silent #8211; if ZT-T did leave during transition period, it is the only one we of.

A consequence of this ZT-T registered so late is that now subject to the excessive taxation of £425pa. The DVLA has obviously this road fund on the ‘old’ ZT emissions which of course, Euro 3. Technically, is incorrect as we know this car is Euro4 compliant, but for reasons I remember, there was a rush to all unsold MGR cars at this

Certainly, SMC in Slough, long-established MG Dealers, registered all their of unsold (but ‘proper’) MG on #8217;08 plates.  Frustratingly, we cannot understand why this car the confines of Longbridge and was retailed dozens of prototypes from the testing period were crushed, much to the annoyance of the MGR community. However, that is not to say this was the one of its type to escape – G-Series-engined Alfa Romeo-engined 75s ,VVC 75s intriguingly, a Euro 4 1.8 75 have all spotted out in the wild.

This retailed and retailed to a member of the who was presumably looking for a bargain car, not a piece of MGR history. It a lot about the condition of the prototype the car was still shiny enough to sit and be on a forecourt.

Sadly, it is understood the owner wasn’t happy encountered niggles on the car which he was for. What happened at this remains a mystery as the car appears not to accrued any further mileage and has in very good condition, as new. This unique ZT-T was, as above,  sold on Monday at auction and for some as yet unknown reason, for sale in the auction on Wednesday aV5 present and listing three owners, but having no MoT.

The Car Group had placed a £10,000 on this vehicle, but we do not even they know the and significance of this car. Indeed, at point, we do not know if the car sold the time around the auction.

We if this car has more in common the Chinese members of the R40 range with its British relations and is why the car survived in Longbridge #8211; if, that#8217;s where it was holed-up for years. The question about it#8217;s been since also is one that remains and so, if you’ve bought this then we’d love to from you #8211; that extends to all owners of unusual cars.

Prototype 2006 MG ZT-T

2006 MG ZT-T

Two additional images by Ian Robertson: #8216;I have a bit more info on that and saw it myself in the showroom at Longbridge in 2006. I even have a of it. The wheels in question are 17-inch wheels as fitted to the MY05 75

This MG ZT-T will be a Euro 4 car which will have worked on towards the end of MGR#8217;s as none of the 75/ZT engines ever type approved to 4 levels, the car will still be as a Euro 3 car hence the monster tax cost of £425 as that#8217;s the car was built as first time.

because it#8217;s an Euro 4 doesn#8217;t meant it can have 4 limits applied to it as we never type approved it. The aim would been to get the CO2 limits down as far as and that was going to take a bit of time and work as there was a lot of calibration work to do. The extra cat ever it was in the system) was to get the other down to meet Euro 4 (HC, NOx etc).

Yes, we going to a TRW system with DSC capability which was a very system. I#8217;m still friends with one of the guys who was the system and they wanted a that complemented the ZT/75 which would not totally over and dominate the car. The of the chassis were held at the top of the and then the DSC was a complete last so I was lead to believe.

I think stuff from the remained BOSCH so the chances of something that can be #8220;plugged may be slim.

I do know that the TRW up here at MIRA are still around in a few Rover 75s with ABS/TC/DSC system on so, unless now fully installed on the 750s, ZT-T will remain a bit of an odd in that department. The large red switch will probably be for the ABS It#8217;s a bit of a hallmark for development as you need to be able to kill the depending on the tests you#8217;re

Either that or it#8217;s the kill button, but I wager it#8217;s for the ABS system or DSC system.

The reason the bendy key existed was of crash and interior fitting The key, when it was in the older could really do some to your legs in a crash so the key was done to protect your –  the heritage thing was not Indeed, if anything, we were for single keys like the because the key and separate key fob was becoming a royal pain the proverbial.

on one key was much better than a key and a fob jangling around in your #8211; I#8217;m pretty that the single key would been kept.

Finally,as for the bumper, no way was that intended. I that, as the car was around during the NAC before the Chinese told and NAC to stop behaving like a of squabbling three year and SAIC was taking NAC over, the is off the MG7 that NAC was producing. I was not aware of a 75 V8 bumper ever falling to an MG as it wasn#8217;t right for the car #8211; and it pants as an MG bumper.

I think it#8217;s more a case of the car had no bumper on and the MG7 one was available so, to get the car sold by they slapped that on the

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