SAIC will replace the 15-year-old TF in 2014
11 February 2010

MG Motor has started work on an all-new front-engined, rear-drive open-top sports car to replace the TF.

Development is at a very early stage and has lower priority than the company’s plans to introduce both the new MG6 and a new supermini to Longbridge. But the firm believes that a new sports car is essential to the long-term credibility of MG as a sporting brand. Though far from concrete, the plan is to introduce the model during 2014.

MG6 1.8T first drive

MG’s 200-strong, Longbridge-based engineering team has already investigated the feasibility of various driveline layouts for the new model, which would also be built at the UK site. Well placed insiders say that a front-engined, rear-drive layout is favoured, to provide the basis for an affordable sports car that would be a direct rival to the Mazda MX-5.

Driver entertainment is a priority, as is the sporting purity of the concept, which is why a front-engined, rear-drive layout is the most likely option.

A mid-engined drivetrain, as used on today’s TF, has been rejected because of the styling and packaging limitations it forces on the car, while customer perceptions about the limited abilities of front-wheel drive mean it has been discounted.

MG does not expect the 15-year-old TF to live much beyond the end of this year, although production of the model is expected to restart in April, following last autumn’s shutdown. That will leave the company without a sports car for at least three years while this new model is developed.

A major challenge will be finding the funds to pay for an all-new rear-drive platform, although SAIC has not ruled out trying to find a partner with which to share a platform. But ultimately, the birth of this new model will be heavily dependent on the success of MG’s attempts to re-establish itself in the UK and Europe with the MG6 and its smaller supermini sister.

Richard Bremner

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Comments
35

11 February 2010

...need a partner eh? er cough Lotus? cough cough? Shame they won't go mid engined again. The mid engined layout of the TF made it stand out from the Mx5. Understandable though.

11 February 2010

[quote Autocar]the plan is to introduce the model during 2014.
[/quote]

Why not wait until 2015, then they can sell an MGTF 20th Anniversary Special Final Edition!!! lol =D

In all fairness I am a big fan of the current TF but it is looking a tad 20th century now (probably because it is from the 20th century). There was a plan a while ago to completely reskin the TF- its a shame that never saw fruition as the TF is a very capable car, lightweight & responsive to drive & despite its age it is rated 4-star Euro-NCAP. It just needs a restyle & new interior to be a winner. Indeed the upcoming TF135 & 85th Anniversary apparently feature the mechanical upgrades that would have been part of the restyle, including rear wheels wider than the front, & suspension changes.

I just hope they can introduce a TF replacement, working with Lotus would be a brilliant start but would probably make the car too expensive. It needs to be cheaper than an MX5 to sell in large volumes like it used to.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

11 February 2010

Dynamically the TF is still quite a good drive and the overall mid engined chassis is good. The real issue it the cockpit a bit too cramped and old fashioned an please please get rid of the old Metro/Rover 100 mirrors. Maybe a slightly longer wheelbase would help packaging? Shame to get rid of completely when it is not all bad just needs to be a little bigger better cockpit and adition of switchable ESP.

11 February 2010

They should go mid engined as this would cut cost and bring it to production sooner. The MGF was made this was so it could use front wheel drive subframes from the Metro, and therefore did not need a specially designed rear wheel drive platform.

The MGF was never really compromised by being mid engined and decent space and boot, plus had the added advantage of using stock Rover engine and gearboxes which kept prices down.

If this is such a flawed concept, why did Toyota copy it for the MR2 and why are VW/Porsche about to do it for their new roadsters? And don't forget, in it's heyday, the MGF and MGTF were market leaders for volume in their sector.

11 February 2010

I'll believe it when I see it

Given the totally lacklustre efforts made by MG Motors UK to shirf the reborn MGTF I'm not holding my breath.

11 February 2010

[quote MattDB]If this is such a flawed concept, why did Toyota copy it for the MR2 [/quote]

Are you having a laugh? - i suggest looking up the history of the MR2.

11 February 2010

[quote Neil Surrey Labs]

I'll believe it when I see it

Given the totally lacklustre efforts made by MG Motors UK to shirf the reborn MGTF I'm not holding my breath.

[/quote]

They haven't even designed a car yet, and yet the 'know-it-alls' come out of the woodwork to have a pop.

Such a waste of the internet.

Good luck to MG.

11 February 2010

[quote Stephen Guckel]Good luck to MG.[/quote]

i think they will need it! would anyone spend their hard earned on a new car designed in the 90s ? enough said!

11 February 2010

MG Writer

11 February 2010

[quote rodenal]

Are you having a laugh? - i suggest looking up the history of the MR2.

[/quote]

It depends on which concept Matt was talking about. Admittedly the MR2 came out 11 years before the MGF as a coupe; but as a mid-engined roadster, the MR2 was introduced in 2000. So you could (long shot!) claim the Toyota did blag the MGF concept for the MR2.

I would love to see a new MG roadster hit the market but it's always those mega timescales that worry me. The words boat, missing and the, spring to mind. The mid-engined concept is now a USP in this sector so a completely re-engineered MG TF would be what they need right now, rather than designing an MX-5-a-like.

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