30 January 2004

MG Rover has freshened up the Rover 75 and MG ZT – but is risking the wrath of customers who have bought the first batch of newly launched ZT V8s, sold with styling that will be obsolete within weeks.

MG Rover describes the 250 MG ZT 260 V8s that it has already built as ‘highly collectable’, although the company has a strategy in place to deal with irate buyers. ‘We will come to an arrangement with them,’ said a spokesman.

The changes are mainly to the front, which features updated headlamps with standard halogen bulbs, a revised grille and new company badge; the rear gets larger badging below the number plate. A quicker steering rack has been fitted to improve the handling, and other changes include new instruments, more interior space courtesy of changes to the seat cushions and a redesigned clutch pedal to clear more room for the footrest.

The week-long plant closure in December allowed Rover to run down stocks of the outgoing 75, which means the new car goes on sale in late February in time for the 04-plate change.

MG Rover has also revised the range line-up, adding a new Connoisseur model to the 75.The 25/ZR and 45/ZS models are in line for more dramatic cosmetic surgery than their bigger brother. Expect to see the results at May’s British Motor Show.

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