After a long wait, MG finally have a new range topping saloon in the shape of the MG ZT 260 V8. The Rover 75 has been thoroughly re-engineered with a Ford V8 dropped under the bonnet and drive switched to the rear wheels.
The ZT 260 utilises Ford’s well proven 4.6-litre V8 engine, widely used in North America to power the Mustang. Power is 260PS (hence the 260) and there's an even more impressive 302 lb-ft of torque available at 4000rpm. Top speed is limited to 155mph. 0-60mph is achievable in a claimed 6.2 seconds with the standing quarter mile done in 14.9 seconds.
Some mods have been required in order to get the motor under the bonnet and MG’s engineers have also developed new intake, exhaust and emissions control systems to ensure the vehicle complies with stringent European noise legislation with no loss of power or torque. A new electronic engine calibration helps ensure the car exceeds current European emissions legislation. The exhaust system, twinned for most of the length of the car, is distinguished by new quad-tailpipes producing a familiar V8 burble.
The gearbox is Tremec’s TR3650 five-speed manual, manufactured in North America. It's been extensively modified to meet MG’s needs and features a unique set of ratios. MG’s engineers have also developed an all-new gear selection system and bespoke hydraulic clutch actuation.
Under the familiar body, all manner of changes have been required to suit the new car. At the front new design of upright is matched to Eibach linear rate springs and a new, larger diameter anti-roll bar. There's a significantly revised subframe, which provides a stable operating platform for the chassis whilst also featuring as part of the impact absorption system in the event of a crash.
At the rear a new multi-link rear suspension has been developed specifically. A new six-mount subframe houses the Hyrdratrak differential, while each wheel is located by three lateral links (two steel and one light-alloy) and a light alloy trailing arm. Compound rate springs, also sourced from Eibach, work in conjunction with Bilstein monotube dampers. Roll behaviour is controlled by a new anti-roll bar.
Both saloon and Estate versions will be available and prices start at £27,995 OTR. A higher spec SE model is also available at £32,750.
More exciting than today's news though is the prospect of the supercharged version still under development which promises 385bhp.