MG ZT Tourer, MG with V8. A civilized beast

ER Classics Desktop 2022

A thin picture with a running horse on it. Is that playmobil or real? It is very real. Because it is under the hood of an MG and on top of a V8. The V8 comes from Ford and it is the same 4,6 liter that is also in the Mustang. Ah ... Hence that horse.

The MG ZT Tourer

The MG ZT is the dynamic version of the Rover 75. That Rover 75 was put on the market as "Jaguar for people without money for a Jaguar." The 75 dates from the time that Rover was from BMW. You now have a Rover 75 from € 850 - as asking price. In 2003 Rover was from Ford and then the ZT was the top model with the 4,6 liter Ford V8 from 264 hp. Plus that picture on top of that block.

The power source was adapted to European (environmental) requirements. The power of thick 260 hp that remained afterwards is strong enough. The torque of 410 Nm makes every tire seller happy. And you will use those tires. Because despite all the luxury, the ZT is a worthy successor in line with the best MG traditions. The MG ZT Tourer is an anabolic go-kart in tuxedo.

Spoon in a V8?

The approach Shelby used to spoon a V8 into an AC was simple. Where the block was just too big for the engine compartment, the sheet metal was hit with a hammer. 'Problem solved!' The Rover 75 was a front wheel drive. The ZT260 had its Ford V8 lengthwise and the drive had to go to the rear wheels.

That is why the control and the stabilizer had to be moved to give the bulky V8 block the 'lebensraum'. Of course, brakes and springs were adjusted to the other weight distribution, the greater weight and the extra power, but the biggest problem was caused by the gearbox. The size of this meant that the middle tunnel had to become a lot more spacious. The cardan tunnel became much higher, so a different dashboard with different climate controls had to be developed. To finish the story to the end: You can adjust the camber of the rear axle.

Made from passion

From the beginning, the project seemed more prestigious than it was designed to make the bookkeeper happy. Under the hood it was certainly nice and full after the "conversion." For example, there was no room for the battery. But that didn't matter, because for weight distribution reasons it just went to the trunk. Just like festivities such as the TV tuner and such. Space for a spare wheel was not provided.

Looks like…

They call it a 'sleeper' in the States. A car or motorcycle that looks civilized, but that performs like a drugged racehorse. The MG looks irrefutably chic and understated. The wolf under the sheep's suit is only betrayed by a few decent V8 designations, the tough tires and the double exhausts in the butt. Old school MG fanatics who think that 'sporty' is the same as 'Spartan' are allowed to turn their ideas around after a ride in the 260. Because Spartan? That is not the ZT260. He not only has a fantastic interior, but is also equipped with navigation, television, leather, xenon, climate control and a thick audio installation.

This fat MG is no more like its slender predecessors of the past, a machine to burn off blindly with the gas on the Autobahne shelf. The MG feels best when it is allowed to trot unleashed on secondary roads.

Even rarer

The Rover 75 V8 is a rare automobile. Only three left-hand drive copies were made: The VIN 000777 was Xpower Gray and went to Sweden. The 'Pearl Black' VIN 000849 went to Sweden and the Royal Blue VIN 000850? He ended up here. 260 LHD were made from the MG98, of which only 17 were sold to the Netherlands. This is an original Dutch-supplied specimen with poor 84.000km that only 3 owners have had. Albert Venema looks thoughtfully: "I don't know if I want to sell the car and that's why I don't put a price on it."






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