Staring at the sorry-looking prototype MG SV that is being put up for auction I felt compelled to laugh mockingly. It looked nothing more than a sad V8-powered nail that was driven into MG Rover’s coffin.
And then something strange happened – I realised I really want one of these cars. Even Autocar’s First Drive of “Britain’s answer to the Porsche 911” couldn’t recommend shelling out the £82,950 to get one on your drive.
It got me thinking about cars that for some irrational reason you would buy if your lottery numbers came up this Saturday, and you’ll probably be one of the only people who would.
The MG SV isn’t very good-looking, the wheels are too small, it was chronically overpriced, crude, and by today’s standards, underpowered. Why did MG give it carbonfibre panels and 375bhp, when a plastic body and 450bhp would have been cheaper and probably a lot easier?
Who knows, but if you want something different, this is the car – dare I say a British supercar that was wheeled out just as the UK car industry gasped its last breath. It’s so poignant it’s almost romantic. And after a while those looks even start to grow on you.
And the best bit? Consider for a moment Porsche’s approach to getting more performance from its cars: variable-vane turbos, “dynamic engine mounts’, direct injection. And what did MG consider for the SV? 1000bhp from “factory-approved” nitrous kits.
All this amounts to a car that I would happily own, as long as I had plenty of money to buy a couple of Porsches too, of course.