The 25th anniversary of a forgotten sports car
The MG F.
MG was a historical Sports car manufacture, and in the early 60s Replaced the MGA with the MGB. The MGB was a huge success, and well obviously, they didn't stop building them. (Hold on I will get to the F soon.)Eventually they were killed of in 1980. MG then started producing them again, and they sold, however they were not going to break sales records with a 60s car ruined by America in the 70s and originally killed off in the 80s. So, after the success of the little car, MG went to produce the first sports car since the MGB was released, and incidentally, their last one to date.
The MGF released in autumn of 95', 25 years ago, and it was quickly met with critical acclaim for its handling and performance, matching the MX-5 And BMW Z3 coupe of the time. It was selling strong, all the way until it was replaced by the "new" MG TF, which was a heavily revised car, and would probably be considered a second generation if it wasn't for a T.
The car came with the K series engine, no not the Honda motors, instead the Rover K series line. the engine was a common engine in all models, and wasn't adapted to suit the mid engine configuration, and the net result was Head gasket failure due to overheating. The cooling system would struggle to cool the engine in some cases, and then that would allow the head gasket to go. A thermostat relocation would fix this.
The major difference with the MG F and MG TF was the suspension, the F using hydragas. Hydragas was a updated version of the Hydrolastic system used in early BL cars. The hydragas system was loosely inspired by Citroens Hydropneumatic suspension systems. This gave decent handling with smooth ride. Due to increasing build costs, this was swapped for the MG TF to be standard coils. I Have ridden in an MG TF, and it does feel stiff, I haven't had a shot in a MG F, but it would probably be less harsh.
The car was mid engined, and that combined with the rest meant it could go to the established roadsters and match them. Unfortunately the car was plagued by BL, Reliability and quality issues, it also had a dated interior.
The car was swept away when MG rover closed in 2005. When MG was bought by the current owner, the TF was put back in production for short time, with no updates. The outdated MG TF dwindled sales and died again in 2011. The re-birth of MG is a very different breed to that of the MGF, and it seems as though we might never get an MG sports car again.