9 March 2004

The Rover V8 is back in vogue. After an 18-year gap, MG Rover is reintroducing a rear-wheel-drive V8 Rover, a 75 developed from the 256bhp MG ZT that shares the same Ford-derived power unit.

The company claims it finalised the styling last year, long before Audi revealed its almost identical grille arrangement on the new A6 (pictured). However, the Germans have long hinted at their new grille with a number of concept cars.

Priced from around £35,000, sales will start in May. The Brit car maker has tweaked the springs, dampers and suspension bushes to produce a more serene, less sporting drive than the MG V8, and the Rover version will only be sold with an auto transmission.

It has also changed the exhaust to dampen the V8 warble of the MG as it strives for a smooth and quiet range-topper for the Rover line-up.

The engine is actually moved further forward in the 75 V8, compared with the MG version, as extra sound-deadening took priority over optimum weight distribution.

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