I will never understand how this car ended up in the US, the dealer informs us that it’s “Completely Street Legal” and at one point I did hear that this was some top Phoenix employee’s press car. Either way, for $22k this is a steal.
The ZT-T 260 was the first Rover/MG to feature a V8 since the mighty SD1, this time it wasn’t a GM unit, rather the 4.6 V8 from the Mustang. Somehow, on a shoestring budget, the engineers were able to shorehorn the lump in the MG’s small engine bay, the same space used for the small 1.8 four cylinder. Then after converting the car from front wheel drive to rear wheel drive, various suspension and break modifications were also thrown into the mix.
The result was so close…the car was so close to motoring perfection, but it lacked one key ingredient, actual power. From the factory the 260HP was adequate, but the press wanted more, BMW were putting out 400HP with the M5 Touring, Audi with 335HP on the S6 or 444HP on the full fat RS6. Of course, the sticker price on the ZT-T was peanuts compared to its German counterparts, but if you can afford to run a V8 in Europe, the sticker price is of little concern, the badge however, is.
Add to the constant threat of bankruptcy of the MG/ Rover Group, these V8 monsters were left sitting on dealer forecourts, massive discounts couldn’t even tempt buyers. At the time my local dealer had the sticker at the same price as the top of the line Diesel and it still didn’t move. A sad end to such a promising car!
Find it on www.wirewheel.com.
Thanks, Richard! (Richard is a long time reader. His Mazda RX 7 and Datsun 280ZX have been featured here.) I would LOVE to own this MG. However, while I might be able to get used to the right hand drive, I could never get use to looking over my shoulder, waiting for the Feds to seize it. If you don't live in Florida - where apparently you can title damn near anything - buying this car would be a huge risk. - Dave