Lovely MG SV-R Review in Auto Express - MG-Rover.org Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 12:29 Thread Starter
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Lovely MG SV-R Review in Auto Express

Apologies if anyone has already mentioned this, but it makes nice reading compared to the Autocar review....

MG SV-R

It's nearly three years since MG first announced it was to build the SV-R, and for those who have been desperate to get behind the wheel of the company's first supercar, it has been a long and agonising wait.

But finally Auto Express has been invited to drive the most outrageous model ever to wear the octagon badge. We took to the track in the flagship SV-R which, at 82,950, ambitiously aims to rival the likes of the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin DB9.

It's a bold quest from the British manufacturer, but one not entirely without substance. Under the bonnet of the SV-R lurks a V8 engine made of pure American muscle, and tweaked in Britain to deliver an astonishing 400bhp. The unit is based on that fitted in the ZT 260, but has been modified to deliver more than 40 per cent extra power. Those who are happy to live with fewer horses can choose the perfectly rapid 320bhp standard SV, and save 17,000 in the process. But it's the SV-R which offers the more focused driving experience - and from the outside, this beast certainly looks as though it means business.

Inside, the car is a revelation. Given the low volume of the project, we were expecting an interior that was hastily thrown together from bits of old Rovers. We're pleased to say we were wrong - the SV-R has a hand-finished bespoke cabin, trimmed in leather and Alcantara, and the quality is much, much better than we had dared to hope for.

You know to expect serious performance as soon as you settle into the seat, because there's even a button to automatically lock the inertia reel of the four-point harness belts in place if you fancy some hardcore track driving.

And don't think the SV is an underdeveloped brute, either. It might have a proven V8 up front and a straightforward rear-drive powertrain, but it's bristling with technology. There's an on-board telematics system that automatically links with its own call centre to help customers with any problems, and it also detects when the car needs a service and calls the owner to inform them. MG Sport and Racing says this is essential, as SVs used for track days will need more regular maintenance.

And it's on the race circuit where the SV-R really shines. The V8 fills the cabin with a cacophonous roar, yet it's an easy car to drive at low speeds. Our main criticism concerns the traction control - when engaged, it takes over too quickly and saps power even under straight-line acceleration. Build up the pace and things become more interesting. The engine offers plenty of low-down grunt and power is fed to the wheels via a heavy but positive five-speed gearshift.

With the aero pack - standard on the flagship - this SV is apparently less likely to oversteer than versions without. But turn off the traction control and even this bewinged model feels twitchy. In the dry it's never uncontrollable, yet it's enough to keep you alert on the limit. The carbon fibre body gives the chassis more balance and allows greater steering precision, while the Brembo brakes are exceptional, with ABS that doesn't cut in until absolutely necessary.

It might not be the last word in refinement - in fact, it's a bit of an animal - but the SV will surprise those who didn't expect cash-strapped MG to turn out a such a well engineered supercar.
Craig Cheetham
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 12:34
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lovely stuff
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 13:12
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Amazes me how Autocar and Autoexpress can differ so much, Autocar say the interior is poor, AE say the opposite, and having sat in the car at the NEC, I agree with AE, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it at all.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 15:05
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Proof that autocar are just jumping ont he MGR bashing bandwagon rather than forming their own opinions... shame they are obviously out of touch and got it wrong as everyone else is finally realising there's somehting special starting to come from the last in main stream british car producers, our beloved MGR!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 15:08
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Originally Posted by cityrover
Amazes me how Autocar and Autoexpress can differ so much, Autocar say the interior is poor, AE say the opposite, and having sat in the car at the NEC, I agree with AE, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it at all.
Prejudice?? Some magazines just can't shake off that old "We hate BL" attitude.
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 17:41
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What was that Autocar twaddle about 9 years in the making ?
MG Rover only bought the chassis about 3 years ago ?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 21:12
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I think Autocar gave a fairly balanced review. Its not like potential customers will be reading either magazine anyway.. Perhaps Auto-Express got a better finished car or something.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 21:50
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Originally Posted by Lucky guy
I think Autocar gave a fairly balanced review. Its not like potential customers will be reading either magazine anyway.. Perhaps Auto-Express got a better finished car or something.
The photos in both Autocar and Auto Express both featured the same SV-R reg number BX04 BKE.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 21:56
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I've detected a shift in AutoExpress' and Autocar's editorial line... in fact they're mirror images of where they were just a few years ago. Something tells me Autocar's nose is out of joint for whatever reason as they've especially negative about MGR of late.

Anyhow, AutoExpress.... keep up the good work I've recently ditched buying Autocar every week and changed to AutoExpress instead.

John
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 22:00
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Originally Posted by JohnSwitzer
I've detected a shift in AutoExpress' and Autocar's editorial line... in fact they're mirror images of where they were just a few years ago. Something tells me Autocar's nose is out of joint for whatever reason as they've especially negative about MGR of late.

Anyhow, AutoExpress.... keep up the good work I've recently ditched buying Autocar every week and changed to AutoExpress instead.

John
I think auto-Express have been very positive about Rover for quite a while now. And i don't think Autocar are really all that 'anti'. Their ZS review did raise a few negatives, but it certainly wasn't a hatchet job by any means, and it was a nice two page job with lovely pics..
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 22:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnSwitzer
I've detected a shift in AutoExpress' and Autocar's editorial line... in fact they're mirror images of where they were just a few years ago. Something tells me Autocar's nose is out of joint for whatever reason as they've especially negative about MGR of late.

Anyhow, AutoExpress.... keep up the good work I've recently ditched buying Autocar every week and changed to AutoExpress instead.

John
Autocar were the ones that said that MG Rover should be recognised for producing well priced, well specified cars. I believe it was in Autocar the week after Motor Show Live.

I think Autocar and Auto Express are as bad as each other.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-06-2004, 22:03
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Yes I thought their ZS review was very positive.
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