If it still had BMW’s billions, MG Rover would have replaced the MG TF by now. Speculating on what that car would have been like is interesting: a little four-cylinder, mid-engined roadster styled, designed and fettled with a proper budget by the guys at Longbridge with support from Munich could have been a world-beater, and almost certainly a Mazda MX-5-crusher. What would it have looked like? How would it have driven?
While speculation is interesting, it’s not as interesting as jumping into a newly revised MGTF and having a blast in it – it exists, and while it’s only an update of a very old model, it’s still a decent car. The TF has been mildly tweaked for 2005, with a new design of alloy wheel, new illuminated heating and ventilation controls and new trim colours and materials, including Alcantara seats. All TFs now feature remote central locking, CD Tuner (plus MP3 on TF 160), leather steering wheel and handbrake grip, alloy gearknob and electric heated mirrors.
But more important are the revisions to the suspension. We’ve never doubted Longbridge’s excellence at chassis tuning, and you can feel the difference immediately in the new TF. Spring rates are lowered by 20 and 30 per cent front and rear respectively, and damper settings are also changed, while the front anti-roll bar diameter has increased from 19 to 21mm.