MG reveals the first in a series of Extreme cars, announced today (June 15), on the eve of MG’s assault in the Le Mans 24-hour race. MG Extreme vehicles are one-off demonstrators, not intended for series production, and will each be outrageously powerful and road legal.
The MGF X Power 500 is first, and powered by a race-bred 500Ps engine and 6-speed sequential transmission in what is a much modified MGF monocoque structure, fabricated around the UK’s best selling roadster.
The links between the MG X Power motorsport programmes and the MGF X Power 500 are evident throughout the car. Power is courtesy of the MG Le Mans XP development engine, mounted transversely behind the cockpit and driving the rear wheels via an X-Trac competition gearbox.
While externally MGF X Power 500 appears radically different from the standard car, much of the original structure remains. The body is seam welded throughout and has a fully integrated cage. Front and rear subframes are modified to accommodate the new powertrain and handle the 3-fold increase in power output. The track becomes 100mm wider at the front and 150mm at the rear. Four-pot AP Racing brakes ensure effective stopping performance. Wider tyres are specified for the task of managing the extreme power available – 225/35 R17 at the front and 265/35 R17 at the rear on MG multi-spoke alloy wheels.
Covering these huge wheels and extended track has involved some radical changes to the exterior style of the car – the wheel arches are flared and connected by a sill-mounted side-skirt. The front end is completely revised and is clearly influenced by the MG Lola Le Mans EX257 race car, and styled under the leadership of Peter Stevens, MG Rover’s Product Design Director. At the rear a high mounted wing-type spoiler balances the high downforce front end to ensure the car remains ‘glued to the tarmac’ at speed.
Engine cooling is optimised by an increased radiator capacity, fed by a much larger aperture in the front bumper and exiting through vents in the bonnet. The side air intakes are also enlarged to feed cold air into the engine bay. Inside, race seats and competition harnesses ensure the occupants remain firmly in place despite the very considerable g-forces the MGF X Power 500 is capable of generating.
The MGF X Power 500 is not for sale, but has been developed to be outrageous fun. In this respect it sets the scene for what is to follow as the Extreme treatment is progressively revealed on versions of the MG ZT, MG ZS and MG ZR models; each one a one-off purpose-built demonstration vehicle.
Rob Oldaker, Product Development Director, commented: “The MGF X Power 500 is proof that MG will be sensational and outrageous, and this is only the beginning. It can also compete with the best in the highest echelons of the performance car scene. MG is a fast moving bold brand with an appetite to thrill.”
15 June 2001