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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Which ZT

I normally contribute to the midget BB but in this case I'm considering buying a ZT and want to know which model is recommended - the 1.8 turbo or the V6? According to my brochure the 1.8 has a faster time to 60 mph. Any observations ZT owners?

Chris Hasluck (1970 Midget 1275)

The V6 sounds great, the Turbo may prove to be more ecconmical. You need to drive one back to back, if u do this I think u will choose the V6 :-)

You can't have too many cylinders! The ZT is a big car and deserves a large relaxed engine!
Patrick Beet

Unless fuel economy is a prime long term requisite, go for the V6 190+ version with at least the Drivers Intelligence Pack as an add on.

Which "brochure" are you looking at, Chris? I've got the latest one, and it claims the following 0-60 stats:

ZT 160 1.8 T 8.5
ZT 190 2.5 V6 7.7

If economy is important to you, the 1.8T offers a good trade-off. It's still a quick, great-handling car.

But for performance, the four-pot car can't hold a candle to the V6, which apart from being faster also benefits from an uprated chassis and brakes. It also sounds *glorious*.


If you are comparing 160 V6 with 160 1.8T, then the 1.8T has the slight edge in acceleration terms.
However, having had a 75 1.8 (120bhp) and now a ZT 160 V6 for over 12 months/28k miles, my money would be on the V6 160, although if I had the budget, a 190 would have been nice! But, as I was buying the car myself, and the 1.8T did not exist then, I think I would still go for the V6 160 simply because as everyone says, it sounds superb as befits a car the size of the ZT. My 75 was always a little harsh on the higher revs exactly where you'll be using it with a turbo. But the V6 has this excessively beautiful growl from 3700 rpm upwards. It may be beaten many other cars, but that doesn't worry me. Comments about shopping trolleys having equal amounts of power may be true, but, the ZT V6 stands head and shoulders above the competition simply because:
1) It is an incredibly magnificient and agressive looking beast as I have it in Anthracite.
2) Its handling is class leading. Whilst the 620Ti boys go on about their high speed and acceleration times they can't hold a candle to the cornering ability of the ZT!
3) Noise! Noise! and Noise! Growl!

Oh, and the 160 gearbox on the V6 is extremely well spaced, better than the 190! 100mph in 3rd!

What is a Driver's Intelligence Pack?


Thanks for the comments. Of course I was comparing the 1.8 ZT160 with the 2.5V6 ZT 160 (as a V6 ZT190 clearly wins all round). I too would like to know what is a driver intelligence pack. I thought I was fairly smart already!


Chris Hasluck (1970 Midget 1275)

From memory is covers the rain sensing wipers (very good), auto dimming rear view mirror (also very good) and the trip computer (Okish toy).



PS isn't the ZT160 with V6 the auto version?
Patrick Beet

Patrick, the ZT180 is the 2.5 V6 with an auto 'box.


D.I.P also includes the reversing object proximity sensors, very important feature !

The rear boot spoiler (now optional on some models) makes a very effective distance spacer, but admittedly, doesn't warn you of objects below your line of sight.


Knock, knock, tap, tap, rattle, rattle ;-)

Not biting! Nah nah nah! So there :-)


Have you listened to your engine lately? A light tap on the top end?

It's a downhill 'slide' from there.....

Auto Eric reply:
I will attempt to reply on my return! However, don't expect this to be too soon, as I am out driving my ZT, enjoying the performance, handling, build quality etc whilst acknowledging the envious looks from BMW drivers ;)

In my view,for all enthousiasts & relative to competitive products,The ZT really needs the 260HP V8 and the ZS either the 180 V6 (or the 1.8 160 Turbo which is STILL not on offer)

>>>>The ZT really needs the 260HP V8 and the ZS either the 180 V6 ....
=== EH? The ZS has had the 180 V6 for simply ages now.

MG-ZT 180-Sport Auto +
I have reservations having had the motor for 12 months today !.
However overall performance is good compared to some sheds i've had from new in the past.
- looks good drives-drives good-responds well.
The only faults have been on the 7,000.00 extras i had fitted.
A)Perminant problems with D.I.P.
B)Seat Failure.
C)Reverse sensors- 1,500.00 Damage - (do not rely on system)repaired FOC.
D)Windscreen cracked (sealant not installed correctly)
375.00 (insurance)(Sensor windscreen).
E)Failure of all instruments - on board computor replaced every 7,000 miles upto now ! - expecting failure again shortly with 35k on clock - live in hope.
F)SATNAV Message System(GIVEUP)!.
G)Quirky auto cruiseeeeeeeeee ! on resume slowly builds speed - last 10M.P.H Drops Gears & goes like a rocket to resumed altitude ( no reason given - dealer to respond one day ).

when all said and done it's the Dog's B--------s of a car - luv it to bit,s

Maybe the sideline spectators understand my frustration - ( GO FOR IT ).

I've had MG'S on & off for years but luv'em


Yes David,I am indicating desirable power needs,available or still to come.
Would add as alternative the 135HP diesel for the ZT and the 120 HP K series for the ZR(available in the UK but not exported overseas!)

Shoggy, interestingly my windscreen cracked recently, and although there does appear to be a distinct chip where I think it started, should I visit the dealer first to be sure?
By the way, I had none of the extras except the sunroof, so have escaped all the hassles you appear to have had.

Interesting, I had a screen develop a large crack from one corner a couple of months back - I put it down to me overstressing the bodyshell ;-)

Keep this one quiet chaps, otherwise Eric will be starting to post something along the lines of ......rattle rattle, tap tap, tinkle!

By the way, has anyone managed to get a replacement dipstick with a yellow tip? I asked at my dealer and they said they knew nothing about these.

You have broken the thread of this interesting discussion!

To have some extra power in reserve (until the V8s arrive),one needs to get the CDT 135 Diesel version.

I tried to get hold of one for my ZS 180, with no success.

Spoke to my dealer about this and placed an order for a new dipstick. When it arrived it had a black tip, so i explained that this wasn't what i was after (given that i already have one like this). The dealer then said that as there is only one part number, there can only be one dipstick. At which point i opened the bonnet of the brand new ZS 180 in the showroom and withdrew the dipstick - sure enough a yellow tip.

Unfortunately they wouldn't let me swap my dispstick for this one...

Scarlet Fever

So they do exist! Pity the dealers aren't kept updated!

BTW has Chris decided which ZT as yet, before I get accused of going off topic again?

Dipstick - it's a point Fraser Winton took on board soon after he became Managing Director for Powertrain, and a point he actually made himself without any prompt recently. he found the same as the rest of us in finding the current dipstick obviously designed by one!

Currently there are two dipstick part numbers and one common dipstick tube. One dipstick, part number LQM 100901 is shown at 2.28 and the other LQM 100902 is currently unpriced, indicating unavailable at the moment. I wonder if the 902 part is the new one.

160 Vs 160

I have driven both and the 1.8T is far from slow except right at the bottom end of the rev range so you have to ensure that the revs are above 2000 to ensure respectable movement. It is a very smooth operator except at that low engine rpm band when the 4 cylinder attributes shine through and remind you that this model is aimed at the CO2 emission concious.

When the engine is spinning at above 3000rpm there is no doubt about the performance and it is snapping at the heels of the 190. Indeed I suspect the tune has been kept down to ensure that the turbo torque doesn't create an embarrasment here to the 190. The handling is also sharper as the 4 cyl engine is about 50kgs lighter.

But enough of the praise for the 1.8T as the ZT cries out for the sofistication and refinement of a V6 or better and as good as the 1.8 turbo instalaion is in the ZT it still comes up short in overall pleasure compared to the V6.

It is also interesting to note that the V6 160 is often described by owners as little different to the 190 in many driving conditions. The much longer overall gearing of the V6 160 clearly there to stunt the performance otherwise there would have been too little difference between 160 and 190.

Mind you having seen production quality ZT260 ZT-T recently I have to say I am taken!

Roger Parker

>> Mind you having seen production quality ZT260 ZT-T recently I have to say I am taken! <<

Wouldn't happen to be the Anamorphic green one that was at Silverstone recently would it? It was parked in the pit next to the X-Power merchandise stand and i nearly missed it, it was that out of the way. The quad rear tailpipes just caught my eye so i wandered over to investigate and was pleasantly surprised to be rewarded with a 260 badge on the rear, massive brake discs all round and a pair of twin exhausts, one pair each side of the rear bumper.

Very, very nice indeed. :-)

Scarlet Fever

Yes to Rog and SF
The ideal engines for the ZT will be the V8s
Hence the 1.8T should now be put in the ZS to accompany the V6
When will MGR realise this fact?

a little digression here, because there are three 160 engines, though not all featured in the same car, there is the 1.8 VVC, as well as the Turbo and the V6.

What do you reckon, Roger?

Martin - Nice to see you have a sense of humour! :-)

End of the tap tap rattle rattle jokes.

I think I'll be sensible from now on.

"Grey suits you, Eric" - Ian Hendry, _Get Carter_


This thread was discussed between 17/07/2003 and 30/07/2003

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