|Manufacturer MG (MG Rover)|
Designer Peter Stevens
Body style 2-door coupé
Class Sports car
|Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel drive|
The MG XPower SV (Sport Veloce) is a sports car that was produced by MG. Manufactured in Modena, Italy and finished at Longbridge, UK, it was based on the platform of the Qvale Mangusta, formerly the De Tomaso Biguà.
After acquiring Qvale of Italy, MG Rover allocated the project code X80 and set up a subsidiary company, MG X80 Ltd., to produce a new model based on the Qvale Mangusta. One attraction was the potential sales in the United States, as the Mangusta had already been homologated for the American market.
The MG X80 was originally revealed as a concept car in 2001. However, the styling was considered too sedate. When the production model, now renamed MG XPower SV, was eventually launched the following year, designer Peter Stevens had made the car's styling more aggressive. The conversion from a clay model to a production car, including all requirements, was done in just 300 days by the Swedish company Caran. One goal was to get a street price of under £100,000. The car's baseline model eventually cost £65,000 with the uprated XPower SV-R model costing £83,000.
The production process was complex, partly caused by the use of carbon fibre to make the body panels. The basic body parts were made in the UK by SP Systems and then shipped to Belco Avia near Turin for assembly into body panels. These were then assembled into a complete body shell and fitted onto the box frame chassis and running gear and shipped to the MG Rover Longbridge factory to be trimmed and finished. Several of the cars' exterior and interior parts were sourced from current and past Fiat models. The headlights, for example, were taken from a Punto Mk.2 and the rear lights from a Fiat Coupe.
According to the data at the MG XPower SV Club, approximately 82 cars were produced excluding the 4 'XP' pre-production prototypes. This included a few pre-production and show cars which were later dismantled, before production was stopped due to lack of sales. Most were sold to private owners, with the final ones being sold to customers in early 2008. most were sold in Europe and asia with only one model sold in America, a supercharged XP model
In 2007, William Riley, who claims to be a descendant of the Riley Motor dynasty, although this has been disputed, bought XPower SV-related assets from the administrators of MG Rover, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Riley formed MG Sports and Racing Europe Ltd to continue production of the model. In April 2008, MG Sports and Racing Europe, based in Eardiston, near Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, announced the relaunch of the XPower SV under the name MG XPower WR. Priced at between £75,000 and £90,000, the new model had a supercharged engine rated at 540 bhp (403 kW; 547 PS), and seven cars were said to have already been sold.
Riley's use of the "MG" trademark resulted in a legal dispute with Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation, which had also acquired assets of the defunct MG Rover Group. This case was won by Nanjing in February 2010.
In December 2009, it was reported in the press that no new cars had been manufactured by MG Sports and Racing Europe since its founding, and that employment tribunal proceedings had been initiated by two employees for non-payment of wages. Riley was also arrested by police in 2009 on suspicion of theft of an XPower WR car previously sold to a Canadian businessman who had been working on behalf of the company.
The base MG XPower SV was powered by a 320 bhp (239 kW; 324 PS) at 6000 rpm 4.6 L Ford Modular V8 with a torque of 302 lb·ft (409 N·m) at 4750 rpm but was expensive due to the complex carbon fibre body. Both manual and automatic transmissions were available. The manual car had a top speed of 165 mph (265 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 5.3 seconds. Club Sport options, for customers who wished to use their SVs on the track, were planned but never produced. They included a 5·0 L 1,000 bhp (700 kW) version with factory approved nitrous oxide injection kits, though the basic version had 410 hp (306 kW) with speed limited to 195 mph (314 km/h).
The 2004 XPower SV-R featured a more highly tuned 5.0 L 32-valve V8 with 385 bhp (287 kW; 390 PS) and is believed to have a top speed of around 175 mph (281.5 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.9 seconds.
The SV-S version used the 4.6 litre engine but was fitted with a supercharger to match the 385 bhp (287 kW) of the 5.0 litre versions. Only three were made. One SV-R was fitted with a supercharger to become the SV-RS, however this used an SV 4.6 litre engine.