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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Design Mistakes on the ZTV8

Ok everybody it's what you have all been waiting for!

I have a V8 coming....eventually! and I just love the ZTV8 for being a simply fabulous musclecar but I have to make as many people know that there are a few things which really Irk me with the new car.

1. The new make over....Why?

It doesn't really work does it? be honest! The bonnet looks like it's open when it's shut!!!
The badges look cheap, they probably go on the new 5hitycar which is where I saw them first, but on a 20+ grand and nasty...get it sorted!!
The Rover 75 just looks unfinished and downmarket now so it's 0/10 for an amateurish and incomplete makeover.

2. The dashboard...the website says I can have a nice woody dashboard but the dealer said what is that... trade descriptions act? or just another 6ockup?
also the only colour you can get it in looks like 600 grade emerypaper. So what's that inspired design or cheap and nasty? let me guess? Jeez there's enough 75 dashes about which could be used, why not one in carbon fibre or ally. Do WE have to come up with all the ideas???

Just wait until Jeremy Clarkson gets hid hands on one! oh dear he has!!!!

Once again the dullards at MGR Birmingham prove the north-south devide is living and well!

Here's a clue ...send a couple of your design staff to design college, preferably in Italy! or are they too busy watching the Teletubbies?

We have a loaner with the new finish dash and you are right its awful. Ideal for striking matches on. I'm sure you should be able to Monogram the dash.

Comparing the bumpers on our 2003 MY ZT260 to the latest ZT 135's, you can see why they have done it - cost saving.

Plus I agree that gap between the bonnet and grille is too wide. Not bad on our ZT though.

I think you will find the 260 a heavy car to hustle.

Just ordered some new rear silencers in S/S for mine - more noise. :-)

Jerry Flint


I thought when the ZT first came out with the colour coded dash, they very rapidly allowed you to specify plastic wood instead. Sounds like a dealer not trying hard enough. I would have thought a little discussion between the dealer and the factory could arrange something even if it is only a plastic wooden dash for the dealer to fit as part of the PDI. This is, after all the most expensive car they produce!

If you can persuade them to do this, make sure you go for the wood from new 75 Classic as the wood in the new Conn seems to be the colour of diarrhoea after a good curry fest rather than any wood I have seen.

I agree with you that the new snout on the 75 will allow the car to hide amongst the tedious Mondeos and various boring flavours of VW without being noticed not what I want from a car! I also agree that the people in charge seem to be reverting to the BL book of management and I would not be surprised if the new 45 (should they every get around to launching it) will look remarkably like an Allegro complete with square steering wheel. Looking at the new 75 brochure I see I can not longer have Meteor wheels on a Conn (Why the F*** not?) and that if I want Sat Nav again, I have to also have a sunroof are they completely barking?

However I think the new snout on the ZT is better than the old so long as the bonnet and grill gap is no larger than those shown in the brochure!

How quickly they have forgotten all those BMW Customer Care lessons and relearnt the old BL dont give a toss about the customer approach!



PS Perhaps this is all a cunning plan by the gang of four to ensure the company closes quickly so they can start to live in the lap of luxury via the amply pensions prevision that have awarded themselves.

Went to see the light blue ZT V8 in the Reading Evans Halshaw Reading branch at the weekend. The fit of the new style front bumper to the bonnet and wings is pathetic! How can they design a new front end for this car and make it fit so badly?
With the bonnet shut there was a massive half inch gap between the bonnet edge and the grill surround. And where the front wings meet the new bumper it touches in some place and there are gaps in others..... instead of an even gap all round.
Martin Woods


I expected a torrent of abuse

But no!

We are all in accord...something's got to be done !!

Dear old Trident is going to get a load !!

According to the Build-your-own-car feature on the MG-Rover website there are "Black Oak" and "Burr Walnut" & "Light Oak" dash finishes as options. Plus, you can choose a sports wood 'n leather steering wheel finished to match the facia.

Are these the options that Trident say don't exist?

It would be great if Black Oak was an attractive option as the interior keeps making me wonder if I shouldn't go for an S-Type.

My '02 ZT is lovely. :-)

Jealousy is an ugly thing! ;-)

Scarlet Fever

How about body colour?
yeah Solar Red.....

Watch this space boys I have been on to them already!

Yeah SF jealousy is an ugly thing...

Well, this is tipping my buying decision firmly into the Mk1 camp - just a question of finding a ZTT in the right specification!
Rob Bell

Hold your horses Rob, it has to be a Mark 2

Let's see what gives, my car is delayed which is ok and much is changing right now anyhow. I know that they are on the case with the bonnet/bumper. The dash will change, but not when the dorks at Autocar say they like the Emerypaper dash (Naa Wikid Man ! Eh Eh!) A Solar Red ie matching dash would be pretty cool, a la FIAT Coupe! or gloss black or just a modified ( they have to be) R75 dash which are pretty nice in my book!

Also I havent yet seen any "cheap" ie less than 30grand ZT-T V8 Mark 1's. I dont know how many were made, but there were less than 300 in total, many of which were SE spec painted in dubious mettalic vomit colours and pumped full of cray computers and DVD's and Sattelite links and Radar and Skynet5 and ...

"...havent yet seen any "cheap" ie less than 30grand ZT-T V8 Mark 1's"

There are a few around if you're willing to travel. Just been looking on and there are around 10 under 30k. Cheapest is around 21k but it is 165 miles away.

"...pumped full of cray computers and DVD's and Sattelite links and Radar and Skynet5..."

Sounds like my kinda car 'cept would have to be X-power or Black.


This is what Autotrader said re ZT-T260's

Sorry no matches found.
To locate a suitable vehicle, extend your search by trying one or both of the following:
use a broader defined price range
increase the distance you are prepared to travel to view the vehicle
Broaden your keyword search. Click here to find out more.

Makes you wonder if any Mark 1 ZT-T's were made!


Whoops! Missed the second "T"!

I was looking again at the build-your-own-car thinggy and it would appear that black oak dash is available on the 190+ but not the 260.


Considering they had to seriously alter the floor pan in the boot to get the rear axle in Neil (there's no spare wheel recess in the ZT 260) i suspect there aren't any ZT-T 260s

Anyone know any different?


My ZT 190 is in Starlight Silver, although it isn't my first choice of colour it does look pretty smart, especially as the 'Technical' finish to the dash and the alcantara trim inside isn't a million miles away from the exterior colour. :-)

I'm working my way up the ladder to a V8 ZT, but it'd probably have to be LPG converted, i can't live with a 200 mile range on the fuel tank - the 190 does 300 miles ish and this is bad enough. A tank of petrol and a back-up tank of LPG should do the job! :-)

Scarlet Fever

regarding fuel, this mirrors a conversation I had with the dealer.

The way I look at it is the car is going to be pretty poor on juice ...surprise with a 4.6 litre yank guzzler in the front.

The dealer reckons on late teens early 20's in normal driving and 28mpg in vicar mode up the m40.

I told him if I could score that from my old Range Rover I would have been totally chuffed! most big 4x4's do terrible mpg !! mine would average about 15mpg! OR WORSE!

So the V8 is a frugal ecologically friendly green machine. The wife was after a Jeep Cherokee, so I am sitting here thinking I have bought the economical option!

As Einstein said it's all relative!

The ZTV8 has no space for the spare because the battery is stuck in the tyre space, also ....if you did go LPG where woud you stick the tank? if you put it at the front of the boot you lose the option to fold the rear seats forward for extra loadspace

And of course when I tell Janet and the boy of my great wheeze I get a ....urrrr red???

Urrrr Dad-deeeee!!

Cant win can you!


It's not the MPG that is the problem, it's the size of the fuel tank mate.

Don't mind poor MPG, but anything less than 300 miles from a tankful means long journeys become a right pain.

The LPG conversion idea was simply to give me a bit more range is all.

Scarlet Fever

The ZT-T V8 was certainly included in the launch photos and details, in fact several of the proto-types doing the rounds in 02/03 were ZT-T's (I followed one on the M6/42/40 about a year ago).

But as with the rest of the range, the relative scarcity/rarity of the ZT-T V8 is probably down to the fact that the ZT out sells the ZT-T. And given so few V8s sold, then I guess the ZT-T V8 is not an easy find second hand.

28mpg is not bad, in similar Vicar Mode, my 160 V6 only does 32-38mpg with a resulting 350-400 mile tank range, but otherwise, it drops dramatically with full use of the gearbox and rev range to as low as 18mpg.

Martin ZT

I have to say I wonder at the attitude shown by some dealers.

Last November I was looking for a 2nd hand Estate and the ZT-T/75 Touring immediately sprang to mind so I visited my nearest MGR dealer.

The attitude was just appalling, I told the receptionist what I required and I was told to take a seat and she would see if she could find someone to talk to me! I sat very patiently for about 15 minutes before reminding her that I was still there and I was told very abruptly that they were all busy! This was a week day afternoon and there was not a soul in the showroom - customers or staff (except the receptionist).

Eventually a guy shows up and tells me that if I would like to make an appointment he will see if he can get a car for me to try - there were two sitting on the forecourt with 'for sale' labels on their screens BUT NO we could not try one of those as they had not yet been serviced!

So I played the part and made an appointment for the next week.

On my way home I visited another dealer (Nissan) who had 2 or 3 Estates on his forecourt - a salesman was immediately available and an immediate test drive for any of the cars shown was possible and as he had just taken a Peugeot 406 in P/EX for a new car I said I should like to try that.

Two hours later a deal was agreed and the car would be ready for collection in two days after a full service.

Needless to say the MGR dealer never heard from again.

And as a BTW I am extremely please with the Peugeot workhorse and it has a 700 mile range on a full tank of diesel.

Ted Newman

I've seen a couple of ZT-Ts on the road. V8 badges and twin exhausts.
Dan Smithers

Ted that is shocking!!!
talk about a lost deal!
Talk about dickhe@ds!

Go on.... name and shame!!! let's share their identity and with it their stupidity.

I have found Trident Rover in Ottershaw incredibly helpful. Always there to support or just have a natter. Of course they are all barking mad but that helps if you own an MG. Their enthusiasm is utterly contagious, when I tested the V8 it was like a Ferris Beller's day out! I think we did over 50 miles! some of it at ...errm Captian Kirk velocities

Yes they have fixed it!!!

I will be getting a one-off totally unique bespoke dash for my ZTV8 colour coded in Solar Red. The only one! I wonder if they will make this an option?

This car is going to be so AWESOME!!!!


Unfortunately Ted's experience is what I have found on several occasions at my local dealer on the sales side, although, being a fanatical, dyed in the wool MG R owner, I just went looking for a better MG R dealer!

If I was more concerned about looking locally, and not such a nutter as to travel for good MG sales service, I might possibly have ended up at any other dealer willing to demonstrate their enthusiasm to sell me a car!

Martin ZT

I used to be with Stratstones for MG related items - unfortunately they have given up the franchise and now my nearest is Phoenix (the old Palmsville) in Muswell Hill.

BTW Neil your V8 sounds (as you say) awesome I wish you luck with it and YES I am jealous!

Ted Newman

Good to hear that feedback about Trident. Who is it you're dealing with Neil?

We dealt with Christopher Banton when we got the MGF from them. After being treated with total distain & disinterest by the timewasters at SMC in Slough I'll probably be back to Ottershaw if I go for a ZT.

Yeah Chris Banton and the Boss Richard Roberts.

If you go there for your ZT mention me.

I can also thoroughly recommend Trident Garages - Chris Banton is the MG sales guy.
We bought our new ZR there, and I've had my mgf serviced there for 6 years, prior to selling it.

Martin Woods
Martin Woods

Good Day,
My name is jummy.I'm presently located in ISREAL.I'm also
specialise in purchasing of CARS for my clients that comes from Different Parts of the World.A Client of Mine in interested in buying your CARS.But my client will be Paying you with a Certfied Check.So i will like to know the actual price you are offering to sell the CARS and it's present state of health and condition,things i'm supposed to know about the CARS).Also the Horse would be going to a loving and caring home where it's going to be well and properly taken good cared of.I will be expecting you to get back to me as soon as possible.Looking forward to your response soonest,
Best Regards
jummy m.
Note:Dont worry about the shippment of the Horse ,my client said he would send some international shipping agent to come for the pickup of the CARS.

pastor paul

Oh my god, what is going on in htis hellhole? ^

And there you have it!

a perfect way to kill a thread. some sort of dubious scam from overseas.

Pastor Paul please do like they say in the Bible...Go forth and Multiply!! In a big way!!


Hi, Just found your page while searching for a midget fuel tank - don't ask !

I worked on the Powertrain team on the MG ZT & T 260, there were ZTT's built with the V8 in - one went to one of the MGR diretors(with a white leather interior and pseudo Austin Allegro wood dash - taste Eh ?) - we also built supercharged ZTT's as development cars - so there are a few around.


PS I still prefer driving my '85 Vitesse to the MGV8 and got better gas milege !


Yup first half tankful made 16mpg!

but I think a pinch of salt maybe needed here, The garage "filled" the tank when I got it so I dont know how filled that was, the needle pointed vertically but not for long. Also the car had 30 miles on the clock when I picked it up, which I havent included and they had been mucking about with the air con prior to me picking it up which meant running the engine without driving it for a while.
Also I am limited to 50 for 500miles and I have had the plesure of a few jams and stop start driving. And we are running it in

SO hopefully it'll be improved next time around, Roger Parker is scoring about 24mpg which actually isnt too bad and is the same as Janet's 2 litre Fiat! and is my target mpg.

Whatever, 16 is better than I ever got out of Hooch my old Range Rover (avge 13-15)

18 is about right - just abouit to do 800 miles to LM and back and I'll do some calculations. Don't know how Roger gets his figure!
Jerry Flint

>>>Don't know how Roger gets his figure!

Its amazing what Police driver training can do for your style of driving! :-)

>> I used to be with Stratstones for MG related items - unfortunately they have given up the franchise and now my nearest is Phoenix (the old Palmsville) in Muswell Hill. <<

Ted, that comes as absolutely no surprise. Palmsville/Phoenix are my local dealer (they're just around the corner from me). I jest ye not: I've been trying to arrange a test drive in a ZT diesel manual for over 12 months now... yes seriously. Fortunately, I've not been in a desparate rush (otherwise, I think that we'd have got an X-type diesel wagon instead: Jaguar dealers versus MGR: compare and contrast).

It's only because, like Martin, that I'm a dyed in the wool MG nut that I've persevered this long. Will probably end up travelling further afield to find a deal though...

Palmsville/Phoenix - you're hopeless :o(
Rob Bell

<Jaguar dealers versus MGR: compare and contrast>

Indeed. Compare the polite and efficent service of Guy Salmon, Thames Ditton with the incompetence & broken promises of SMC, Slough.

Got a feeling I'm getting a Jag not an MG.


Go to Trident in Ottershaw, 01932 874411
Not only do I get A+ service, they never rip me off, they are always there to help, or even just discuss MG issues and best of all they are utter petrolheads in the true meaning of the word! They have gone the extra mile for me on many occasions, like the arrangement of the unique dashboard on my ZT260. A one off, no charge and delivered with a smile.

Jag? Hmmm I've heard all sorts of stories about the X type going wrong!

JD Power results
ZT...13th position
X type...128th or something

Been speaking to Paul at Trident as Chris is on holiday. Not keen on buying new 'cos of depreciation hit but finding it hard locating a vehicle to the spec I want (hence the question about black wood dash change).

Anyone know if Copperleaf Red works on a ZT?

Wouldn't buy an X-type - it is the S-type I'm toying with.


Copperleaf red was my second choice after Anthracite - I was a big Nightfire red fan previously. IMHO the CR looks great, wasn't that the colour used on the TopGear ZT 260?
Martin ZT

Yup - I think that Copperleaf would be pretty good too :o)

Actually, I'm warming to a Trophy blue ZTT: spotted one in Bath. Incredibly helpful salesman there - might even get that oft promised test drive of the diesel! Just a shame I have to travel 120 miles to get one!!! >:o(
Rob Bell

Popped over to trident at the weekend and saw a few vehicles in Copperleaf. No ZTs in that shade but I've come to the conclusion that it wouldn't be for me. I'm sticking with Either X-power or Black.

Paul was very patient & helpful, let me out in a 180 Sports Auto. It was good - which means I'm even more undecided about what to get!


I agree with you on X-Power grey: the car looks superb in that shade, and would be my first choice too.

I don't suppose you spied a 135CDTi there did you Adrian?
Rob Bell

Didn't see any Rob, but I wasn't looking for one so I could have lent on it an not knowed it was the CDTi.

If you seach their website they seem to have a few. Three unregistered saloons with delivery miles, one used ZT-T in BRG and three unregistered estates.

Have you tried and then do a search?

Naaa guys!!

You have to get the ZT in Solar Red!

It it simply stunning, forget the other colours. Rob!!! XPower ( nee Battleship Grey)? Come on!
It wasnt a difficult choice as all the designers went to northern colleges where bling and chromatic paint are "in" in a bit way.

If you want a pic or 2 email me and I will send you one, when you see it you will agree!

Solar red is the cheapest option, no extra cost, and a lot easier on insurance!
Martin ZT

It may be one of the cheaper options, but it just looks fantastic!! They really should offer some more heritage colours...but that's another story

Saw a R75 in primrose before I bought the V8. If it had been a 2.5 and not just the 2.0 I would have had it there and then!


Sorry, Neil, didn't mean to imply it was cheap, just that apart from looking great, it is also a bargain colour!
Martin ZT

Thanks for the link Adrian - and yup, they've got one: in BRG! :o)

Neil... red? Come on, Mr I'm-just-a-little-bit-biased! ;o) ;o) ;o) LOL Obviously, BRG is the colour to go for! ;o) LOL
Rob Bell

BRG eh? Rob? wonder why that might be



There are also a couple of ZT-Ts on MG Rover Direct :


This thread was discussed between 18/05/2004 and 19/06/2004

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