The MG SV-R was the pet project of the MG Rover senior management to create a halo model for the modern MG range. It was a complete departure from all previous model MGs with the only possible comparable model being the 1930's K3 Magnette. The car was a 2 seat closed coupe of considerable performance and technological content, developed from the Qvale Mangusta, which in turn was developed from the De Tomaso Bigua. (De Tomaso being a well-known Italian carmaker who, with models like the Pantera, exploited the well-proven route of smaller coach built and efficient European body powered by a big lazy American V8.) Styling of the MG SV-R was by the world renowned designer Peter Stevens.
Built on a lightweight steel chassis, which has integral roll over bar protection to FIA standards, the SV-R has a chassis clothed in a very lightweight and advanced carbon fibre body that is made up from over 3,000 separate pieces of carbon fibre material. This was made and cut to size in the UK before shipment to Italy where each part was laid in moulds before being ‘cooked' to form the rigid sections that were then bonded or bolted together to form the complete body. The chassis, made in Italy, was fully built up before the body was attached, then the mechanically complete cars were finished in the UK. The engine remained the same 5.0 litre all-alloy V8 engines with twin cams per bank and four valves per cylinder that deliver 380bhp in base SV-R format. The gearbox is a 5 speed manual, with only a couple of automatic versions made. The collapse of MG Rover saw the early demise of MG Sport and Racing, the subsidiary of MG Rover responsible for the MG SV after only around 50 cars of all variants were made. Brief technical specifications: Engine: Front mid; Drive: Rear wheel; All alloy V8 32 valve - 385 bhp, 510 Nm torque; Transmission: 5 speed manual; Performance: Top speeds circa 175 mph, 0 to 60mph 4.8 seconds.
The car we have for sale today is one of only 42 SV-R's built, build number 154, and is considered by many to be one of the most sought after and collectable MGs ever made. This example was the highest specification SV money could buy in 2004 and had a delivery price of £83,000. Reading just 9,965 and presented in lovely condition, the first two owners were associated with MG and it was serviced twice by them early in its life. More recently, this SV-R has been fully serviced by Luffields, the official SV service agents, and there is a bill in the history file detailing the work.
The interior is an attractive blend of royal black leather (including the dashboard), brushed aluminium and exposed carbon fibre, giving the tactile feel of a quality GT car. The body is finished in Mirror Silver Supertallic paint, which contrasts well against the black leather Recaro seats with four point racing harnesses. The wheels are MG OZ 18" split rim racing alloys with stainless steel wheel embellishers, contrasting nicely with the red Brembo brake calipers and drilled and vented discs.
Everything about the car suggests it has been pampered throughout its life. The bodywork is in lovely order, the interior is almost unmarked and there is a good history file with the car. This SV-R is a must for any MG collector and offers 200mph performance for a fraction of the original price when new.