Little know fact, MG did have many ingenious and ambitious ideas in their head outside of simply having rebadged Rover 75’s on their product lists, and the MG SV is a fine example of that!
To follow the SV, you have to go back to 1996, where Italian Supercar maker De Tomaso, had suffered greatly in it’s plan to built the Bigua coupé concept. The investment required to get the Bigua into production was beyond the company’s reaches, but was later funded by US importer Kjell Qvale, who set up shop in Modena, Italy, just down the road from the Ferrari factory. He launched the car in 2000, dubbing it the Qvale Mangusta, but a mixture of a non-existent market for this peculiar car meant that within a year of it going on sales, it was abruptly cut.
Qvale however turned his sights to Britain, where the newly-formed MG-Rover Group which had just been cut off from BMW, was looking for a flagship sports car to reverse the company’s fortunes. Qvale offered his services to them, and called in designer Peter Stevens, famous for the McLaren F1, to design a new car that would be built at Longbridge. The first attempt, the X80, was revealed in 2001, designed to resemble the production MG TF. This was altered over the coming months in what would result in this particular design, presented at the British Motor Show of 2002.
In terms of technicals, the MG SV was made from Carbon Fibre assembled at the Modena Factory, and the car is powered by a 320hp aluminium Ford V8. Two versions were available, the conventional MG SV, and the SV-R, costing £17,000 more, but delivering 385hp, with a 0-60 of 4.9 seconds, and a top speed of 165mph. Production was done in two stages, with the underpinnings and carbon fibre body being done in Modena, and the finishing touches being done at Longbridge. MG had hoped to produce at least 130 cars per year, but when the company went bankrupt in 2005, less that 100 had ever been made, with only about 10 actually being sold to customers.
Not much you can say really, a troubled car with a troubled production. We have known so many…