Now thats a good looking car Rich, oh hang on a minute, thats mine
Regarding the various engines modifications(upgrades) for the ZS etc anything is possible and not too expensive.
My current car I have fitted a k1.8 Turbo which the engine itself drops straight in, the only modifications required are in making it work which are the exhaust system, cooling, intercooling and then electrical (ECU and wiring). I wont go into full detail as it will take a while to type out and I'm currently a little too tired to do so
but if afew people are interested in whats involved with the full conversion then I will make a new post at a later date. Cost wise for the K-Turbo conversion it has cost me around £4-5,000 and this is with the majority of parts being Brand New and me taking my time in putting it all together.
My previous car, an M reg 416 bubble, I fitted a mems3 VVC engine and PG1 gearbox, this was basically a very straighty forward conversion with just dropping the VVC engine and PG1 gearbox straight in after converting the mounts and linkages etc from the 1.6 and R65(gearbox) setup over to the PG1. The only real modification (brain tickler) was converting the wiring loom of the body to match up to the engine as it was going from mems1.9 to mems 3, but if your doing this conversion on a 45 or ZS there isn't really much alteration required with the wiring loom as you only have to add 4 wires (3 if you split the power supply one) that go to the VVC actuators, into your exsisting engine loom and then simply plug in the VVC ECU. The exhaust system can retain as per the original setup or do what I did on the 400 and fit the ZR160 manifold, downpipe and cat after changing the rear exhaust flange to match the ZS one(3 bolt flange changed to a 2 bolt) and all of the cooling pipes etc stay as per original.
There has been a ZS120 mk2 which undergone a VVC 160 conversion that is featured on the MGOC website (along with a ZR 1.8 Turbo) this had a complete brand new engine fitted but if you do fancy a VVC conversion then you can retain your current bottom end and just swap the head over to a VVC, I did this to my original ZS120 engine and then fitted it into a friends Rover Metro GTi, quick plug which is for sale
I think that will do for now but as I said if you want to know more detail on the conversion(s) then let me know and I will shed some light on the subjects for you. BTW Currently working on a full write up on the build of my ZS200 that will be in the next for-coming issue's of Enjoying MG and then there will also be a feature in MG Enthusiast's within the next few months.
forgot to give a guide of cost for a VVC conversion, its all down to what you can get a VVC engine for or just the parts required, works out cheaper to buy a complete engine which can be as little a £150 up to £700 for a second hand unit, but you can never be too sure on the mileage and history but thats usually reflected in the price you pay.