Rover 75/MG ZT (1999-2005) Review

26 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Rover 75/MG ZT (1999-2005) Review

Rover 75/MG ZT (1999-2005) Review

by Mullins 23 December 2011

The Group in the 1990’s were a whose fortunes were up. With strong sales and on the back of the well received R8 Series, it was looking like the had finally found a place in the world after decades of times under the rule of like BMC and British Leyland.

The was once again under ownership in the form of British and despite being on a drip of investment during this they were utilising Honda partnership to the full. also had a new and advanced engine in the of the K Series, which despite its known head gasket was light and revvy and proved to be what the company needed at the

In 1994, just after the of the successfully styled 600 Series, BMW in and unexpectedly bought the company stock and barrel for £800 a relative bargain considering the way it at the time. While ‘The Group’ comprised valuable and marketable brands in the form of Rover and the Mini, the passenger car was also proving to be an indomitable in itself and was competing in segments BMW weren’t present in until the of the 3 Series Compact in 1995.

The 600 Series was also looking a polished 3 Series rival to people’s eyes (at least and had reliability to match its style in the of engines that were per cent Honda. The Rover were now positioning themselves as a premium alternative to the usual and Opel/Vauxhall models and pricing accordingly.

In late 1998, the fully BMW influenced Rover was showcased in the form of the 75; a model would serve as a combined for both the mid size 600 Series and the 800 (a model which I’m sure be familiar to all Partridge fans!) At its at the British Motor Show in its first official viewing by the coincided with that of car from another British which was also foreign – the Jaguar S-type. The two cars happened to be styled on a retro theme that harked to a period of the 1950’s/60’s, although it was the 75 was proclaimed to be the more successful by the press and visitors alike.

the Jaguar just looked and ungainly, the Rover looked and elegant; with a high line and a chrome strip emphasised the flowing lines of the and finished it off wonderfully. It was the car that future depended on and the reaction and feeling around it was positive until a shock announcement BMW boss Bernd Pischetsrieder the launch to talk about the future of the company that was it.

To say it jeopardised the car’s success was it mildly, with people told that the company was money hand over and that action would to be taken. It is still unclear to day what Dr Pischestrieder’s intentions in choosing this time to such an announcement, but it could be to have been the official of the company’s exit from BMW as well as its eventual demise years later.

The Rover 75 in most countries around mid and at launch featured a range of engines that were K Series, in straight four and V6 The V6 (KV6) had been refined its application in the 800 Series and had had problems its serious cylinder lining eliminated. Diesel power in the form of BMW’s accomplished M47 which came in outputs of 114bhp and 129bhp respectively.

The initial assembly was at Cowley and cars featured a much level of finish than the cars which would off the production line towards the end in The plant had been the subject of investment by BMW and produced the 75 from its of initial production in 1998 to the of the Rover Group and transferral of to Longbridge by October 2000.

The cars are identifiable by their plastic sills (these are on Longbridge built cars) and a of exterior colours that cars weren’t available in. production was being transferred, it was that some improvements made to the building process the opportunity was there, but it was less a a few months later that the ‘Project Drive’ was implemented involved the gradual de-contenting of the in order to save what was now ‘MG Rover Group’ as a whole. changes were minor like deleting headrest on lower models and replacing handbrake grips with items, but it later went as far as major components like the roll bar on 1.8 models.

In 2001, the MG ZT as part of the new range created by that saw sporting versions launched of the 25, 45 and 75 and wearing the octagon These featured stiffened among a range of many alterations, but the engine line-up mirrored the range of cars sired them. The ZS (Rover 45) and ZT 75) in particular came out as much driver’s tools with characters.

A major addition to the range came in the form of the Tourer, provided a handsome load alternative to the saloon.

In late MG Rover did something very and converted the 75/ZT chassis to rear-wheel drive. Fitted a gruff and unsophisticated Mustang it only produced 260bhp and was inefficient for the time, with exceeding 300 g/km. It was something of a hurrah for the company and a sign of how had truly lost direction.

As you expect, none made it to either; due to our silly tax system and the mentality towards big engines in We did get the turbocharged 1.8 litre K Series (148bhp), which was launched a earlier and replaced the 2.0 litre This was followed by a facelift in which was a restyling as well as a saving exercise that saw implemented in the form of items a new one piece front bumper was cheaper to produce.

The Rover 75/MG ZT makes a very shrewd buy the BMW diesel engine. Rather these very engines unreliable in BMW’s own products and notorious for turbo failure as as the usual swirl flap (refer to my E39 article for more The 75 featured neither of these, a Mitsubishi turbocharger instead of the variable vane unit by Garrett) and utilising a separate design.

These would definitely be the buy as an ownership proposition for peace of The K Series petrol units are if looked after correctly, they are not for the feint hearted. The 1.8 four cylinder is a typical gasket blower, so keeping a eye on and regular changing of coolant is particularly with turbocharged

The 2.0 litre and 2.5 litre KV6’s feature three cambelts are a job that mechanics are known to shy from, being labour and requiring special tools are either expensive or just to obtain.

Another notable point on the Rover 75/MG ZT range is the slave cylinder on manual It is a known design fault on the and failure usually leads to of the clutch as well, leading to a bill.

The Rover 75/MG ZT is a car with a fan base and community surrounding it. The features some of the enthusiastic and knowledgeable owners that help make that bit easier.

Since MG Rover entered in 2005, there is still a supply of parts and a number of UK that specialise in catering for the circle. It should also be that descendants of the Rover 75 are in production today in the form of the 750 and MG 7 in China, so there should be a deal of parts compatibility those cars.

In general, the 75/ZT shows what have been for Rover and as a bittersweet reminder today to the potential of the company in its final Maybe if BMW hadn’t dropped a bombshell at its launch in 1998 its future prospects would been brighter and it would been the product after all to Britain’s last major car It is a debated topic between enthusiasts that will be known.

What is certain is that BMW’s lack of and The Phoenix Four’s general were a sad ending to a car that so promising, as well as the company and that produced it.

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