You Know You Want To: MG SV

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so they say. In the case of this MG SV, that adage may actually be true.

Anyone else thinking rally car?
Anyone else thinking rally car?
t its launch, the SV epitomised the futile optimism of the 21st-century MG. The marque lacked prestige in the ruthless supercar market, the Ford V8 was a rudimentary powerplant, and the build costs were too high, with shells being transported from Italy.

Nonetheless, there was talk of nitrous injection and track-ready Clubsport versions to trounce the established European competition. But these ambitions remained unfulfilled as the mismanagement of MG saw an early demise of the SV, with only around 80 produced.

'Produced' is very different to sold, however. For this YKYWT we've uncovered an SV that was only registered last year, has only five miles under its wheels and is for sale at more than £20,000 less than MG would have asked for one. Intrigued?

Probably sounded good in the design stage
Probably sounded good in the design stage
This SV is for sale at Xtreme UK, famous for satisfying the demand for hardcore Mitsubishi Evos. Unfortunately, there are few details in the ad about the origins of this car. The car was reportedly 'finished' last year, suggesting it may have been languishing as a partially-completed car until that time.

As a finished £40,000 vehicle, however, the SV does hold some left-field appeal, especially after such a long period away from the limelight. The styling is best described as 'distinctive', or 'purposeful', or some such similar adjective that connotes dramatic rather than appealing looks. The front is imposing, despite the Punto headlamps, but the side vents are gaudy, the wheels look low-rent and the boot just seems too long. And that's before we get to the interior...

As a driving tool, the SV may not be as uncouth as some of the running gear and brash styling may lead you to believe. The advert quotes a recent Autocar drive of a similar car which suggested the SV was "a well-judged package for British roads" and "a ballsy driver's machine, very much in the traditional sense". Apart from a few damping issues, it comes across as being quite well resolved.

But more than all of this, the sheer uniqueness of the SV is what's so captivating. It's essentially an old-school TVR reimagined, and available brand new. There's the proven V8 in the front, rear-wheel drive, eye-catching looks and many happy months of rumbling around ahead of you.

It's would be a brave person who sinks Porsche Boxster money on this MG SV, but I for one hope they
Old-skool 'circles' Leitmotif
Old-skool 'circles' Leitmotif
are richly rewarded.

MG SV (2011)
: £39,995

Why you should: It's a box-fresh V8-engined slice of MG history, and not a bad steer either.

Why you shouldn't: Where was it until last year when it was finally completed? It's hardly short of new rivals at £40k also.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (128) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Simon Henly 02 Oct 2012

    Didn't one of these assault Jeremy Clarksons head when he had a tank slapper on the Top Gear test track?

  • Simon Henly 02 Oct 2012

    I have only ever seen one of these, on the M42 on my way home from work. It was driven by some c@#t who deliberately tried to cut me off as I was pulling out to overtake. He got a VERY close look at the back of my hire car and probably had to visit the dry cleaners on the way home himself.

    An interesting car but have to agree with the earlier post that the money they pi55ed away on developing it could have been better spent topping up John Tower's pension fund, sorry, i mean running the company (into the ground)

  • lankybob 27 Sep 2012

    I think they look fantastic but only when the wing is fitted.
    I saw one of these in Paignton a few weeks ago and almost soiled myself with excitement. The noise it made when it went past was sublime even going at 30mph.
    Those saying the money should have gone to other projects at MG to stop it dying, MG would have died anyway. What this car represents is a last hoorah for MG and as far as I've heard was a fantastic handling car with obvious problems as with all cars with low production numbers.

  • yonex 27 Sep 2012

    300bhp/ton said:
    Maybe you missed the word "finished" in your quote laugh
    You need to decide what you arguing about. You slag the Boxster off yet rave about Mustangs but then say the SV is too expensive for what it is. You're the know of guy who could start an argument in an empty room rofl I doubt you have driven any of them!

  • GTRene 26 Sep 2012

    I think it will be a classic in some years and prices will go up (not the next few years though)

    indeed carbon was used and I remembered in a Dutch magazine they talked about different engine tunings were possible, from the standard SV with 320bhp to about 700 or so (that one was very expensive)

    ah, see here>>

    wiki said:
    The base MG XPower SV was powered by a 320 bhp (239 kW; 324 PS) at 6000 rpm 4.6 L Ford Modular V8[9] with a torque of 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) at 4750 rpm but was expensive due to the complex carbon fibre body. Both manual and automatic transmissions were available. The manual car had a top speed of 165 mph (265 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 5.3 seconds.[2] Club Sport options, for customers who wished to use their SVs on the track, were planned but never produced. They included a 5·0 L 1,000 bhp (700 kW) version, thanks to factory-approved nitrous oxide injection kits, though the basic version had 410 hp (306 kW) with speed limited to 195 mph (314 km/h).
    The 2004 XPower SV-R featured a more highly tuned 5.0 L 32-valve V8 with 385 bhp (287 kW; 390 PS) and is believed to have a top speed of around 175 mph (281.5 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.9 seconds.[2]
    The SV-S version used the 4.6 litre engine but was fitted with a supercharger to match the 385 bhp (287 kW) of the 5.0 litre versions. Only three were made. One SV-R was fitted with a supercharger to become the SV-RS, however this used an SV 4.6 litre engine.[2]

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