24 October 2003

MG’s new SV supercar will cost from £75,000 for the standard 320bhp V8 – a full 10 grand more than expected, pitting it against the top of the 911 pile.

Britain’s biggest car maker has confirmed more details of its supercar range, which will be headed by a version running the 765bhp engine that propelled a ZT-T to 226mph on Bonneville salt flats earlier this year.

The supreme MG’s huge price tag hasn’t been settled yet, but estimates put it at significantly above £100,000, and fettling could push power north of 800bhp on customer demand.

The standard 260bhp SV will hit 165mph and covers the 0-60mph dash in 5.3sec. Power comes from Ford’s 4.6-litre quad-cam V8 and is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual ’box and limited-slip diff. An auto version will be added next year, alongside the SV-R which will offer between 385-400bhp.

MG Rover blames the carbonfibre body for the extra cost, but claims the bodyshell is a quarter of the weight of a steel one. However, the SV still weighs in at a hefty 1540kg. Inside the two-seater cabin are four-belt racing harnesses, a competition rollcage, Sparco racing seats, a choice of six leather finishes and a remote telemetry system that lets Longbridge order parts and arrange repairs and servicing. The SV sits on 18-inch five-spoke OZ alloys coupled with Michelin Pilot Sports.

First customers took delivery earlier this month, and MG Rover says it has taken another 30 deposits.

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