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The return of MG

Legendary sports car will return to original front-engined design, Hybrid, petrol and diesel variants being developed at Longbridge

It's the news every British sports car fan has been desperate to hear – a stunning replacement for the much-loved MGTF is on the way!

new TF-1Auto Express has learned that engineers at MG’s home of Longbridge in the Midlands are working around the clock to deliver the all-new sports car. Although plans are far from clear at the moment, after several aborted attempts to create a new open-topped challenger, including a number of proposals based on the current mid-engined TF, MG’s new Chinese owners are readying a clean-sheet roadster that will feature a conventional front-engine layout.

Auto Express has produced these illustrations to bring you the best view yet of how the eagerly awaited model will look – and as you can see, it’ll be a real head turner. At the front, much inspiration has come from its predecessor with a trademark pair of slats around the central octagonal badge, a large lower air intake and faired in headlights. It’s not a traditional long bonneted roadster though – the front and rear overhangs are minmal and together with sleek side panels it boasts a muscular stance. Key details are the rear haunches, emphasising the rear-wheel drive layout, and the sporty central exhaust. Twin chrome roll-over hoops behind the driver and passenger heads are another classy touch, but along with the windscreen edging, they are the only exterior brightwork, as designers will seek to keep the look as pure as possible.

Following the appearance of our exclusive images of MG Rover’s X120 project sports cars, sources close to MG in Longbridge (now known as MG Birmingham) have hinted that although that project is still ongoing, the next new sports car from the firm will be a totally fresh piece of design under the skin. The MGTF’s floorpan might have its roots based firmly in the 1990 Rover Metro but engineers described long wheelbase TF-based mules as ‘sublime’. Despite the cars’ handling prowess, though, their mid-engined layout lacked development flexibility.

new TF-2And that’s why, after lengthy deliberation, TF replacement is going to be a simpler more back-to-basics design. The two-seater will offer a range of engines that includes a GM-sourced turbodiesel, hybrid and a V6 petrol. The British engineering team is prioritising a hybrid drivetrain, similar in concept to the Honda CRZ’s, and based on the Roewe 750’s system shown at the Beijing motor show last year. Expect to see it on UK roads in 2013.

Before the TF-replacement makes an appearance, though, MG will be busy establishing its European operations selling the promising MG6 hatchback, as well as a smaller stablemate, the MG3, set to fight it out with the Skoda Fabia in the supermini sector. MG’s commitment to sports cars might seem patchy right now, with TF production being frozen, but in the medium term, the company is as committed as it ever was.

Bron: (april 2010)

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