Fast Estates: MG ZT-T V8

In some ways, whether the V8 MG is any good or not is beside the point - the fact that it exists at all makes it simply marvellous. It's a real two-fingered salute to the world from an engineering department of a dying company keen to prove that they could still produce decent cars even on a shoestring budget.

And a shoestring budget it must have been. Word has it that the clever six-damper set-up (there are two extra dampers on the axles to help eliminate axle tramp) was calibrated by chaining a development car to a wall and getting an engineer to lie under it and essentially say 'when' once the axle tramp was gone.

The very same word also tells us that the electronic speed limiter was little more than a genius marketing ploy because, with the electronic 155mph restriction removed, the big MG would do, er, 155mph...

But endearing bodges notwithstanding, the V8 MG does seem to be a brilliant car. It's proved reliable - Chris points out that the only bits that have gone wrong with it have been BMW parts, not MG or Ford bits - and he obviously gets a heck of a lot of fun out of it.

It perhaps doesn't feel like the most modern of cars - the chunky clutch, old-school Tremec gearbox and gruff-but-lovely 4.6-litre Ford lump see to that - but it's solid, honest, pretty quick, and sounds lovely.

It even handles moderately adroitly. You wouldn't call it agile or sprightly, but it does what you tell it, when you tell it to, and with a fair degree of enthusiasm.

Gareth: "I just love the story behind it, and the fact that it's kind of the 'final fling' of British mainstream car engineering"

Jeremy: "It sounds fab and looks like great fun. A lunatic-mobile - which is exactly what a fast estate should be"

Smita: "Weirdly, it reminds me of an old Alpina B7 turbo I used to have - it feels very stable at speed"

Pics: George Williams

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article