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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Cheapening the MG name

Having seen and read about the tarted up Rovers 25, 45 & 75, I right to express my disappointment at the cheapening of the MG marque again.

Its a repeat of the (MG) Metro, Montego & Maestro, very ordinary cars of the 1980's.

Why couldn't Rover call these cars GTi's, rather than sticking an MG badge on dull family cars?
Nick Donovan

Spoken like a true BMW fan.
Gary
Gary Boxall

Nick, have you actually driven any of them yet?

Steve.
Steve Childs

It is an unfortunate fact that there are many 'Garys' out there that have no real conception of what the MG name actually stands for (stands for as opposed to means (Morris Garages)).

MG have always manufactured or perhaps a better description is 'improved' standard cars from their parent company and of course this trend was started long before anyone had even heard of GTIs and during the days when a GT was what it stands for a Grand Tourismo - a grand touring car - such as the SS Jaguar or Bentley!

MG have also built their own cars but these have always called on the 'corporate bin' to allow an 'Affordable Sports Car' to be built.

So in a way the MG badge is the Morris Motors/BMC/BL/Rover Group/MGR equivelent of the GTi or perhaps a better example is the M badge on BMWs where the car gets a complete 'make over' but at a much higher cost.

So I say Long Live MG and their use of parent company parts!

Ted
Ted Newman

Remember that 'Old number One' was, in actual fact, nothing more than a Bull- nosed Morris with the wings wipped off, modified suspension and a little extra performance.

Okay, so someone has added wings to the current Z cars, but appart from that, wouldn't you say that the recipe is remarkably similar?

The ZS180- the only Z car I've driven so far, is an absolute stormer!!! You can't drop the roof, but despite this I had a huge grin by the time I returned home! :o)) Brilliant chassis, brilliant engine. Nick- drive these cars before passing comment. They are MG through and through.

Rob
Rob Bell

Sorry Gary - Meant Nicks!

Ted
Ted Newman

Interesting points of view and helpful history lessons.

I had associated the MG with 2 seater sports cars and not appreciated the engineering improvements history of MG over the years.

I just feel the looks of the 25,45 & 75's are very ordinary and putting skirts & a new badge seems to reduce the attractiveness of the marque, say the MGF's.

Surely Rover have a sportscar in the MGF to rival the Elise, MX5, MR2, etc, yet by placing the badge on the Z cars, it (in my humble opinion) takes the shine off the badge. A number of my friends have expressed the same opinion.

Apologies for the earlier spelling mistake!!

PS, not a big fan of BMW.
Nick Donovan

Nick

I hear what you say and to a point I agree with you BUT we must remember that MGR are trying to make a go of Longbridge and that Abingdon - the MG factory no longer exists so the new management/owners of the MG Rover names must produce a lot more than just an MGF and for the forseeable future they have to make the best of what they have - namely the 25,45,75 and their derivatives plus the MGF.

But they (MGR) are already making rather exciting noises with their recent announcement of their tie-up with the American company that produces a rather 'brutish' sports car in Italy and of course their (MGR) involvement with motor sports such as Le Man

Ted
Ted Newman

I suspect that public perception of the ZR and ZS will change with the start of their respective racing programmes (rallying with the ZR and BTCC with the ZS). If these cars prove successful, then I suspect that the image of the cars will fall into line with what many of us expect an MG to be.

As for the MGF- expect interesting times with this car. The Mk3 is due in the new year with significantly more aggressive styling not too dissimilar to the MGF Extreme X500 unvieled at Le Mans...
Rob Bell

Ted

Fair point. Will try to be less romantic about the marque.

I hope Rover are successfull, I would love to see a rejuvenated British car industry, competing with the Germans and Japanese.

Nick
Nick Donovan

"what the MG name actually stands for (stands for as opposed to means (Morris Garages))"

"MG does not stand for anything but itself". So said one of MGs finest many years ago, it was only *derived* from 'The Morris Garages'.
Paul Hunt

Paul

Are you in the Wig business??

They also spend their life splitting hairs!

Ted
Ted Newman

Ted
I forgive you. :o)
Gary
Gary Boxall

I split hares. Does that count?
Greyhound

Steve

I have a BRG MGF, why would I want to drive anything else?

Nick
Nick Donovan

Nick, same here - I can't argue with that point, all I am saying is that before you compare them with the MG versions of the Metro / Maestro / Montegos I really would test drive the ZS or the ZT and see it you still thick they are only "putting skirts & a new badge" on the cars.

The ZS in particular has had a hell of a lot of engineering work done on it and is quite different from the 45. OK, the ZR is a little of an exception, they already had the GTi and the Vi before that to use some bits from, but the ZS and ZT are quite different from the 45 & 75 respectively, maybe not hugely in looks, but definitelty in the driving experience.

Steve.
Steve Childs

Steve

Fair points.

Are you a Rover salesman? You're doing a good job, hope you're on a high commission percentage!!!

Regards

Nick
Nick Donovan

>>before you compare them with the MG versions of the Metro / Maestro / Montegos I really would test drive the ZS or the ZT<<

I'd also test-drive a well maintained Metro/Maestro/Montego. The Austin Metro never had a 1275 a-series engine, for starters: or does that come under the heading 'badge'?

E
Ed Clarke

You've only had that Metro a couple of days Ed, and already you are defending it to the teeth!!! LOL

The MG badged Metro/Maestro/Montego were much maligned, misunderstood and underrated- but are, in fact, much better cars than anyone who hasn't driven one would expect. Unfortunately the dye was cast early with dodgy early 1600 Maestros, torque steering Montegos and overheating fragile Metro Turbos- but the cars were quickly developed from there, but never really shook the reputation they gained as a result. Fortunately the new cars are much better. And they look good- which perhaps is something not even the Maestro's mother would say about her offspring...
Rob Bell

Oh dear Nick! You WROTE:

<< Its a repeat of the (MG) Metro, Montego & Maestro, very ordinary cars of the 1980's.>>

Is it really. When you really think about it, the MGF is just another ordinary 2 seater of the 1990s. After all, it even shares numerous components with the much maligned Metros so by your reasoning, it must be ....:o))

Later, you also WROTE: << I just feel the looks of the 25,45 & 75's are very ordinary and putting skirts & a new badge seems to reduce the attractiveness of the marque, say the MGF's >> On the contrary, it enhances the attractiveness not only to a much wider MG enthusiast base, but to include the more important buyer of "ordinary" cars. These provide the "bread and butter" sales essential to most volume car manufacturers.

There are many former "2 seater" MG owner enthusiasts (myself included) who now need more than 2 seats and still want to have that famous logo in the centre of the steering wheel. If you play your cards right (or wrong depending on your viewpoint) you too may need more than two seats and still want to drive an MG sometime in the future....:o))

I still get much pleasure driving my MG Montegos even though they are seen by others as ordinary - which is quite true because the majority of cars ARE ordinary. The fact that in comparison they are worth pennies enhances the pleasure I get when my daily driver bog standard 2.0 efi out performs so called superior modern cars; many of which cost thousands more. OK so it's got VVC alloys and a K & N filter but apart from that it's standard. I doubt I'll ever tire of seeing other drivers' expressions when the old Monty leaves them satnding. When I drive my indecently quick 16 year old modified MG Montego turbo that same pleasure is even greater. No, you dont need to have a 2 seater to enjoy an MG. You really dont.BTW, dont tell me you never use your F like that.

Oh yes and finally, do yourself a real favour and it wont cost you a penny. Pop along to your nearest friendly MG-R dealer and as has been already suggested, drive some of the latest Z cars. You may just be surprised and the experience could help you to remove those severely restrictive blinkers you appear to have about the many attractions of owning any MG.

Safe and enjoyable MotorinG in your MGF - give us a wave as I go by!.... :o))

John McFeely.

John McFeely

'The Austin Metro never had a 1275 a-series engine, for starters: or does that come under the heading 'badge'?'

Umm - not so: when it first came out, there was a Metro 1.3S and the 1,275 c.c. was available in Austin and Vanden Plas Metros - so it wasn't exclusive to the MG Metro. FWIW.

David Knowles

A while back a survey was conducted that asked what you think of when you hear the name MG. This was asked primarily of those in North America and the most common answer was small affordable roadsters such as the MGB and midget. Not surprising, as these were the best selling models sold by MG. They competed well against their rivals and were the last MGs seen here in two decades.

I wonder what the answer would have been if asked of those in the UK. In those same two decades the Metro, Maestro, Montego, MGR and MGF were available. Are most of the MGs in the UK still small affordable roadsters overall? Or has the sales of the Metro, Maestro and Montego been so great that most of the MGs in the UK are small hatchbacks? Sales of the MGR were not high enough to have left the impression that MGs are high horsepower/leather upholstered not so affordable cars.

What do people think of when they hear other car brands?
Ferrari: ultra car, millionaire
George Champion

George you make a valid point. When I decided to drop the company car and get an F, I told my younger son who was 18 that I was thinking of getting an MG.

He was just appalled and said I was vital that I did not do this as it would be too embarassing having parents driving such a grizzly car.

I took sometime before I realised his perception of MGs was Metros and Maestros. No offence made to those you cherish these cars - merely reporting the perceptions of a car mad 18 year old 4 years ago.

I am pleased to report that he thought the F was cool and indeed now has one himself proving that good product can change perceptions.

Cheers

Patrick
Patrick

Yes Patrick, that's a valid point.
In the future, if you say "I drive an MG" and if people think about a 5-door diesel ZR ...
On the other side, if MG derivatives of Rover saloons are just as exclusive and refined than "M" BMW's, I see no problems seeing these cars sharing the same badge as my F.
A strong image is hard to build ... and just so easy to break down.
Fabrice
Fabrice

Nick, no I not salesman or employed by MGR at all (I wish!) - I just love their cars :) Which is more than can be said for some of their dealers it seems. >:(

Steve.
Steve Childs

Fabrice:

In the future, if you say "I drive an MG" and if people think about a 5-door diesel ZR ...

Hmm, personally I can't wait to drive the Diesel ZR, that diesel unit is quite pokey, ok - maybe not 0-60 fast, but torque wise it has the quickest 30-50 and 50-70 times of all the non V6 cars. Possibly until a certain ZS comes out next year ;o)

But then I owned a diesel 220 before the F, so I might be slightly biased here.

Steve.
Steve Childs

Steve,
I have nothing against diesels, they offer a good price/torque/comsumption/... compromise.

about 220's : I even drove once a 220 SDi to a ski resort in France 3 years ago , not a bad motor, but since then, better engines came out (150 bhp VW 1.9 TDI or 150 bhp BMW 2.0d).

I just think that "MG" and "diesel" are concept that don't go together well. At least at present. But things are changing, there are some kind of cars now that wouldn't have existed just 5 years ago : BMW 740d, Mercedes S 400 CDI, Alpina D10 biturbo, Golf GTI TDI...
Don't forget also that when a petrol engine is loaded with the same kind of "full monty", it outperforms any diesel (Cossies, Subaru's, Audi S's and RS's ...)
Although BMW now produces some of the finest diesels, there aren't yet any diesel M's or Coupé's...

Fabrice
Fabrice

Fabrice, i know what you mean about diesels and their sporty image - or rather lack of ;)

Apparently Mazda are about to release a diesel MX5!

Steve.
Steve Childs

Nick You wrote "I have a BRG MGF, why would I want to drive anything else?"
I have a red MGF - and a family! My company car is due up at the end of the year...A Mondeo ST200 Estate. Far and away the best Mondeo Ford have ever produced ! But would I rather have a Mondeo or an MG ZT-T ? Not THAT hard a choice really.....or at least you wouldn't have thought so.
Haven't driven the ZT-T yet obviously, but have looked at the pricelist. Can't profess to understand it completely yet, but initial reaction is very off putting. Looking at everything it DOESN'T come with - starting with a standard stereo - Someone please tell me I've got my wires crossed and put me right...

Cheers

Kieren
Kieren Gibson

Don't be so touchy Ted ...
Paul Hunt

Last night we had two trophy yellow ZS saloons at Club Night and everyone was looking at them and saying how wonderful they were. If I'd turned up a couple of weeks earlier with a Rover 45 no-one would have given it another look. Sad really as they are one and the same car.
Andrew Jones

The company has no choice. It has to raise the brand awareness, create a strong image to survive. BL tried it in the early 80's with a botched attempt. This is a far more professional job both in the cars and the marketing and deserves to be successful. I say all credit to them.

David.
David

Kieren, the car comes with no stereo fitted. The deal is that the dealers fit an Alpine unit for you (for no cost- or an 'upgrade' package that costs extra).

TBQH the standard fare stereo head units are usually pants anyway, and people usually just go out and replace it as a matter of course. One exception could be this dealer fit Alpine... no idea why this arrangement was reached- anyone know?
If stereos are going to be upgraded anyway, I don't think it is any big shakes that, say, the MGF 1.6 does not come with a stereo- no problemmo. Nice Alpine/ Sony/ Pioneer etc etc head unit later and cool sounds follow...

The ZT may not be lavishly equipped as standard- but who cares? Sooo much more character than a Ford- and sadly for Henry's boys, character cannot be added as 'an option'

:o)

Rob
Rob Bell

Andrew - they might look a bit the same, but there's a hell of a lot changed beneath.

Steve.
Steve Childs

Paul

You take a part of a sentence out of a posting then completely out of context you use it as foil for a 'clever' quote and thereby take the piss out of the person who made the original posting and then have the audacity to tell them not to get touchy - please think before you post!

Or was that just an example of weird midlands humour?

Ted
Ted Newman

The MG ZT comes with choice of Kenwood audio head unit(cassette) no rear spoiler,no elec rear windows.

MG ZT+ CD autochanger stanard
elec rear windows
ATC air con
body rear spoiler
details from pub #5825.
Joe

I agreee with you Rob. I'll never have another Ford. Car is fab, Ford are pants, but sooo many people can't see past the badge. It's had a hard but fair 45k miles so far, and never missed a beat.
However, it had all the gadgets included in the price. Looking at the list for the ZT-T 190 even wheels are an optional extra - I mean ANY wheels. Think I need to shine up the Urban Assault Vehicle and pop along to the local MG dealer to clear a few things up and book some test drives...

Kieren
Kieren Gibson

If any of your are interested in the lovely, nae even sexy purple paint job that was on the press ZTT ( http://www.mg-rover.org/image_lib/index.php?RollID=mgsaloons%2Fztt&FrameID=ztt_1 ) apparently it will be available as an option for around 2-3 ... thousand quid.

And (sssh!), there might be a few 'Fs with similar paints as options next year.

Wonder if the insurance companies will want extra to cover them?

Steve.
Steve Childs

Kieren,

The information you require is certainly contained in the full MG brochure, publication no. 5827, which was supplied to dealers to support the launch.

Audio and wheels are in separate sections, on pages 92 and 94 respectively, in order to do justice to the 2 items MG enthusiasts find so fascinating....

All MGZs come with a Kenwood stereo as standard but this is fitted by the dealer - a method that enables you to upgrade easily to CD and MP3 and autochanger, so you get more choice.

And yes there are wheels on the ZT, 18 inch Hairpins or Straights, the latter standard on the 190.

I thought this brochure was worth reading from cover to cover - hopefully others agree.

John
John Dalton

John- yes I read the brochure from cover to cover and enjoyed the read. Not your usual brochure advertising BS either, but actually an interesting read including some informed comment from some very well qualified racing drivers! Okay, their pay cheques are signed by MG, but nonetheless the opinions seem to be very genuine.

Well done MG-R! :o)
Rob Bell

I think that this discussion has occured everytime a new MG has been launched always the same point,is this a proper MG? Don't know what a proper MG is, don't care really, I've got my own pieces of MG history in the form of a 27 year old B roadster and 10 year old Monty Turbo a truly "ordinary" motor as some will tell you. But dwell on this without the MG Metros,Maestros and Montegos of the '80s I have to doubt that the F or the Z cars would have been built not to mention the MGR.
I just think it is good news that the MG name is to the fore again and like John Mc I feel smug when I drive any MG
Steve
Steve Kings

Thanks For clearing up the stereo shinanigans for me John. I haven't had the chance to read all of the brochure yet, although I did scan over the ZT part. I also thought it stated 18" hairpin wheels as standard. However, in the pricelist these are marked as a cost option. That's why I'm all confused. There seems to be loads of cost options. I guess I need to sit down and go through it all properly.

Cheers

Kieren
Kieren Gibson

I have to agree with Nick Donovan, I believe that MG is widely associated with 2 seater sports cars.

The Maestro, Metro & Montego cheapenened the image, as does the Z cars.

Call the new cars GTi's but don't tarnish the brand and marketability of MG by sticking on the badge, or tuning the engine of a family saloon.

If you are a family man, you may need four seats, but surely if you covet a sports car you really want an MGF rather than a Z car !! What car would you go for?
Wait till the kids grow up then buy a sports car. If having an MG badge on your 25,45 & 75 convinces you that you are driving a sports car, you're deluded!!

It all smacks of trying to milk a brand and ultimately weakens it. See above comments from USA and Europe. (& see other thread).

The strength of feeling about the marque is evident from these messages, I'm sure that passion isn't acheived by historic hankerings over MG Metros!!

Richard Ashcroft

>> If having an MG badge on your 25,45 & 75 convinces you that you are driving a sports car, you're deluded!! <<

Spoken by someone who hasn't driven one I would guess.

Steve.

Steve Childs

Yes Richard, I totally agree.
BUT that doesn't mean that the MG Z cars aren't appealing or don't seem to be good cars ... (esp. the ZT)
If only MGR had put the MG bagde ONLY on the TOP of the range saloons, and not on diesels or 214's ...
(that makes me laugh when I read people saying "an MG for under 10K GBP, fantastic !!!" well, is that really an MG ?? a 214 with a spoiler, white dials and an MG sticker ?)
If only MGR followed BMW's example with the "M" cars : only top of the range, image builders, not volume builders.
Fabrice

I have been following this thread for the last few days since discovering the BBS and, since I've just got back from placing an order for an anthracite ZS180, I now feel qualified to post.

The ZS will be my first MG and I am very pleased to have been able to buy a British car without having to make any allowances. Just under 5 years ago I bought an MX-5 having also driven an MGF. The reason was that the MX-5 was a complete driver's car - the sort of car that makes you seek out the longer, twistier route to your destination - whereas the MGF, though a great car and better in other ways, never felt like it became one with you in the same way.

Time moves on and my personal circumstances dictate that I have only one car and that it has 4 seats and a moderately capacious boot - I thought that my days of driving a car which seems to mirror your own enthusiasm in that way were over for several years. I drove the Seat Leon 20VT and it reminded of the MGF - a great car, fast and very efficient at covering the miles - but it didn't really reward my effort when pushing on. Then I drove the ZS. It is simply a fantastic driver's car - just like the MX-5, you ask where the money has gone when you sit in it until you drive it and then it all becomes clear - and, so, I've bought one.

Now, finally, I get to my point. If you want MG to stand for the type of cars that it produced for one part of its' history only, then you may feel that the Z-cars weaken the brand. I have always believed that MG stands for cars - be they sportscars or sports saloons - that make driving a joy. I feel that the Z-cars actually strengthen that brand, not weaken it.

Cheers,

Steve.
Steve H

>> that makes me laugh when I read people saying "an MG for under 10K GBP, fantastic !!!" well, is that really an MG ?? a 214 with a spoiler, white dials and an MG sticker ?) <<

<sigh> That IS fantastic!! Its not just a 1.4 with a spoiler & an MG "sticker". Its got the same underpinnings as the rest of the ZR range, same chassis mods etc.. So yes, it is great value for money, which after all is one of MG's hallmarks.

Steve.
Steve Childs

what are exactly those "chassis mods, etc" ?
will that 1.4 have 17" rims ? and so, space behind for big (& expensive) brakes ?
Fabrice

Fabrice, obviously by posting that question, you haven't checked up and based your previous statement about an MG sticker and spoiler on nothing.

The 1.4 MG ZR has:

Same suspension setup as the rest of the range, Inc. ZR 160. Same body kit, except sill skirts and front fogs.

It hasn't got the larger discs (only the 160 has those). And it uses the 16" alloys, same as the rest of the ZR range, except again, the 160.

Steve.

Steve Childs

As I have already stated elsewhere, I currently drive an ST200 estate. I don't want Ford anymore, and I can't afford a T5. Hopefully the ZT-T will fit the bill perfectly. I don't believe the Z cars cheapen the MG Marque at all. Perhaps some minor points are valid on the ZR, however, I feel you may aswell go for the whole shooting match rather than half the model range. Besides which, the ZR could prove to be the biggest bread winner, bringing in valuable revenue to keep the company moving forward.
I have heard comments about the ZS being an imitation of the impreza. Hmmm, the Impreza is undoubtedly a stunning car and imitation is a fine form of flatery - The ZS could be a lot worse!!!
MG can't keep living in the past. It needs to move on, and at present has limited funds with which to achieve this, in an ever increasingly tougher market.
I believe another company wouldn't have been so bold so soon, and if what has been achieved so far in such a short space of time is an indications of things to come, just imagine what we'll be playing with in ten, fifteen, 20 years time....Long Live MG !!!
Kieren Gibson

...And ANOTHER thing. When MG were banging out the MGB's and so on, where were Honda, Mazda, Fiat, Vauxhall, etc ?? (Don't come on all venomous to me either) The point is, although they were around in some way shape or form, the competition from them was nothing like it is today - no Type R's (Mmmmmmmmm), no WRX's, VX220's, no Barchetta's, MX-5's or all the other lovelies...(Sorry - I'm on one now)...i'll shut up..

Kieren
Kieren Gibson

>>>> I have always believed that MG stands for cars - be they sportscars or sports saloons - that make driving a joy.
Me Too. Probably the most sensible comment in the entire thread.

Safety Fast!
David

Kieren said:
"...the ZR could prove to be the biggest bread winner..."
and
"...I have heard comments about the ZS being an imitation of the impreza [...] - The ZS could be a lot worse!!!..."

Both the dealers where I drove the Z-cars said that it was, surprisingly, the ZS that was generating the most interest and, more importantly for MGR, sales. I agree that the ZS' styling - especially when in Trophy Blue - does look a little like a Subaru wannabe. What is important is that a friend with a Scooby drove the ZS and reckons that it is the first car that he has driven which feels as sorted when driving hard as his - albeit without 254bhp. Given how the Scooby is regarded by both the press and the public, being regarded as a baby Imprezza for £5k less can do it no harm at all...

Cheers,

Steve.
Steve H

Yes Steve, I admit I hadn't checked the documentation.
But keep in mind that here on the continent, Rover is sleeping, I cannot visit my dealer ans ask to test drive a Z car ... maybe they won't even know what I'm talking about...
I look forward to see them in the flesh.
Fabrice

Fabrice - there is the wonder of the internet you know ;-) www.mgcars.com - they have the specs up, as soon will I on www.mg-rover.org ( quick plug ;) )

They do look tonnes better in the flesh, believe me.

Steve.
Steve Childs

The position as stated in several postings here simply illustrates the problem ther is in breaking a long held perception hardened by inactivity and a low profile approach.

This is not meant as a critism of individuals, just an illustration of how perceptions have been allowed to set because there was no high profile company based light thrusting forward. Essentially since the end of the 1960's MG, as far as the company was concerned was kept in the cupboard drawer and only brought out on a few occasions and quickly put back in again.

Today MGR are taking the bull by the horns and dragging the marque forward in a direction where everyone can see clearly. This will not suit some, but will suit many. In 5 years time with some momentum built up the wisdom of the direction followed will be open to historical debate. One thing is that whether that route is right or wrong, I fail to see any alternative.

Rog
Roger Parker

>>>But dwell on this without the MG Metros,Maestros and Montegos of the '80s I have to doubt that the F or the Z cars would have been built not to mention the MGR.>>>

Steve Kings has a point here as without them sales would have lapsed for over 10 years - even then Rover had a legal battle in some markets to retain the rights to the MG brand name.

The 80's saloons were killed off by Graham Day who shared the view that MG meant open top sports cars and modified saloons devalued the brand. Then again he was a Canadian and he couldn't even drive. But he did put the wheels in motion that saw the development of the MGR V8 and the MGF under BAe ownership.

BMW also shared the view that started this thread. Now we have gone full circle to a new management who are quite passionate and enthusiastic about cars and like Steve H 'believe that MG stands for cars - be they sportscars or sports saloons - that make driving a joy and that the Z-cars actually strengthen that brand, not weaken it'.

One thing is for sure - its only worth investing in the brand if its going to achieve a credible sales volume, and 15000 MGFs a year can't warrant marketing campaigns. Result: MG will remain an unknown brand in most of the world.

Surely the marketing and motor sport exposure the brand is now getting is the best thing that has happened to MG since 1979, even if you don't appreciate the merits of the Z-cars themselves.

And hopefully Steve H is one of the first of a large number of new MG enthusiasts who will guarantee the future of the marque.

Welcome to the family Steve - as you can see its not a totally happy, homogeneous one......

John Dalton

Having just come across this thread, the thing that amazes me is the passion of those who own, drive or have had MG's (whatever the model!).

Surely with this feeling MGR have a base to build upon.

Whilst I don't agree with rebadging, it is probably a cheap way of improving (Rover)overall brand awareness and perhaps reducing the rather bland image Rover have. However,I believe the MG marque could be better exploited than this, particularly as it has a certain desirability

Hopefully, longterm, Rover will build more MG two seater sportscars. Also they will improve build quality as my MGF is pretty poor!! I still love it but.....! Surely, if they can overcome this type of shortcoming and gain a reputation for quality the future will be rosy. Lets hope so!!

Allan Clarke

Have just read the thread under MG Cars, see Retro style cars for America...this is a good illustration of how MG's image is perceived abroad.

An image diminished by rebranding family cars.
Richard Ashcroft

Richard Ashcroft Hull WROTE:

Some snipped << An image diminished by rebranding family cars. >>

Maybe ... but only MAYBE in the eyes of some. One thing IS certain, without what you describe as "rebranding", the MG brand would certainly be diminished to infinity! .... :-((

MG will NOT survive on 2 seaters alone.

My first MG was a two-seater, so was my second, and my third and .... my last five have been 4-5 seater saloons.

If MG were to produce the finest, best value two-seater in the world tomorrow I would not buy it simply because it would NOT suit my needs now. A ZS or maybe a ZT certainly would.(thinks - why did so many motoring professionals feel the ZS would be the least attractive Z-car? Consumption of too much old Rover 400/45 media bullshine no doubt).

There are many more MG drivers, owners and buyers as opposed to pure MG enthusiasts. As a long time enthusiast for the modern MG saloons and member of the MG M group, whenever I get the chance to chat to another driver of one of these hugely under-rated cars; whilst filling up at a garage for instance, chances are I discover they are NOT MG enthusiasts but drive a modern MG saloon simply because that particular car suited their needs at a certain time. It will be those who like me buy a Z-car and for similar reasons. However, my chatty approach to other MG M drivers sometimes discovers another enthusiast and this makes it worthwhile. In nearly 40 years of driving MGs, time and again a mutual interest in these cars has led to a lasting friendship. I taught my then future wife to drive in an MGB .... a long time ago.

I am not a market researcher but I'd bet a years salary that there are more potential MG buyers in MY position now, that is needing a saloon, than those who want a two-seater MG irrespective of how good it may be. Those Z-car saloons may be ideally suitable.

I said on this BBS some months ago that I had a good feeling about these Z-cars. All the signs since continue to look favourable. Even so, it's going to take a lot of further careful planning, good judgement and not a little luck for MG-Rover to survive and thrive. Here it will need help in the shape of those many Brits who feel as I do, that we do need a healthy British volume car producer AND are prepared to put their money down. MG-R have worked near miracles with what limited resources they have available. I cant ever remember any other car producer ever achieving anything like it so quickly all things considered. God forbid that the car buyers of Britain shun the new Z-cars and other Rovers preferring to continue buying foreign in such large numbers as they have done for more than the past two decades. Then fellow MG enthusiasts, the cost to this nation will be huge if as a result our last volume car producer does not thrive and dies ..... Such a loss would reach far further than those directly connected with MG-R.

Killing time at a supermarket yesterday, I had a look at some motoring books including the latest issue of CAR magazine. Their appraisal of the latest MG saloons and comparison of a ZT with a BMW was a real eye-opener for me. Our motoring media on the whole really do like these Z-cars and more importantly, are prepared to say so unequivocally. Long may these omens continue to look so good.

John McFeely.
John McFeely

Re: Mr. Ashcroft of Hull's comment: "If having an MG badge on your 25,45 & 75 convinces you that you are driving a sports car, you're deluded!!"

While self-delusion is perhaps the most powerful of human emotions, I doubt very much that when I drive my (yet to be realized) ZT here in the States that I will confuse it with either of my MG sports cars. Even with much newer MG's available to you all in the UK, I doubt you will be fooled either!

I suspect, though, you will be thoroughly happy with your Z-series sports saloon (sedan), and not confuse it with any two-seater!

While MG has a strong historic link to the sports car - perhaps laying the claim of defining the concept, the world has moved on somewhat and the sporting driver, at least here in the States, is quite comfortable in sports sedans and coupes as well as sports cars. Anti-theft and air con alone lead us to tin roofs, and the bonus of carrying family and friends on occasion would be welcome, too.

As it is, about half my wardrobe is MG-labelled, why shouldn't my everyday car have that benefit as well? Why not, indeed, as long as it practiced all the usual fun-to-drive elements necessary in an MG?

Actually, a complete range of cars is not only desirable, but necessary for MG in the States. A single car line up is not viable - particularly if it were a sports car alone. Where would we recruit the dealers?

More importantly, the marque will have to get beyond the quaintness of sportscars alone to appeal to the many new customers who not only never owned one, but have never heard of the brand before.

Yes, brands have different meanings in different places, but for many reasons, the MG line up in the States will need sports sedans to go along with a sports car. While MG is unimaginable without a sports car, it is unviable without a full line up.
John Z

This thread was discussed between 06/08/2001 and 10/08/2001

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