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 (125) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Hitch78 26 Sep 2012

    Used to see these regularly in Brum - horrible things in the flesh.

    Looks like one of those Chinese villager interpretations of a supercar that pop up everynow and then.

  • loose cannon 26 Sep 2012

    cant help thinking if it had some nice looking wheels fitted they would look so much better

  • Rawwr 26 Sep 2012

    I've seen worse interiors. It's a bit of a kooky choice but quite a lot of wow.

  • kambites 26 Sep 2012

    Always loved the SV - so much more interesting looking than any of its competition at the time and they still look fantastic to me when I see them.

  • AC43 26 Sep 2012

    Rowan Atkinson had one as a long termer in Evo IIRC. He really tried to like it but in the end had to conclude it just hadn't been finished in any meaningful way and was really not much use.

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