MG Rover Group (September 11) unveiled for the first time, at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show, its stunning new luxury high performance sports Coupe - the MG X80. The MG, presently codenamed X80, is set to challenge the established world sports car market, with a dynamic technical specification, and high performance characteristics. Indicative UK prices start from under Ј50,000.
Styled by MG Rover's world renowned design director Peter Stevens, the MG X80 benefits from a high-technology super-formed aluminium body, mounted to a steel box section chassis. X80's outstanding chassis set-up and engineering specification have evolved from the Qvale Mangusta, acquired by the company in June 2001.
MG X80 has independent wishbone suspension, and a front engine / rear-wheel drive layout producing a perfect handling balance. Advanced braking systems harness the variety of power outputs available - from 260 to 385 bhp (SAE) produced from 4.6-litre V8 engines.
The MG X80 2+2 seater Coupe will be launched in summer 2002 giving the MG brand a world class product in the high performance luxury sports car sector. It will be joined by a roadster version in 2003, both available with manual or automatic transmissions.
Potential features include Electronic Traction Control, limited slip differential, ABS braking, 18" alloy wheels, air conditioning and a six-speaker in-car entertainment system with radio/cassette and CD Autochanger. Electric powered items include power windows, door mirrors, driver's seat adjustment and a luxurious leather interior.
The X80 sports car is positioned above the popular MGF roadster, the new MG sports saloons (MG ZR, MG ZS and MG ZT) and ZT-T sports-wagon that have recently been introduced Europe-wide.
Rob Oldaker, product development director commented: "MG X80 is a highly attractive proposition and a true flagship for the exciting MG product range. X80 will drive with all the vigour that its appearance implies and with an excitement that will enthral its occupants. MG is recognised throughout the world as the definitive affordable sports car brand and with the MG X80, we now have another thoroughbred in our stable."
MG X80 will be launched in summer 2002, competing with established sports cars like the Porsche 911, Maserati 3200GT and Jaguar XK8.
(September 11, 2001)
Photos: MG Rover & Automotive Intelligence