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4th July 2001
MG ZS-180 Exclusive Review
Sunday July 1st - Stanford Hall - MG'M'2001
Star of the above show was a special appearance of a new MG Saloon, an MG ZS180. Several hundred people during the day took the opportunity to get a close up look and even sit in the car. I was privileged to be able to test drive the car and take some exclusive for photographs for the MG Enthusiasts Club web site.
When a motoring journalist tests a new car they are expected to be critical, and quite rightly they often are. I recently (Sunday July 1st) found myself with the chance to take a test drive in a new MG and to be critical. But as a self confessed 'stalker' of the marque how could I possibly find fault with a car we have all been waiting for!
In a showroom near you very soon, you will find a whole new range on MG saloon cars, in the form of the ZR, ZS and ZT. The MG 'Tin Top' is back!!
The car that I drove was a MGZS 180, and the specification is pretty impressive you will agree, and apparently of all the new models is fastest accelerating and just 1mph slower than than the ZT190
ZS 180 Specification
Engines and Transmissions
KF "The throttle was certainly very responsive, and the close ratio box and that short throw gearshift was a joy to use. The sports exhaust has a beautiful note to it. Though the car is fitted with air con, on a warm day you might want to drive with the windows down, because it sounds soooo good!!"
- KV6 2497cc Quad Cam 24v 177Ps with revised throttle cam profile for sportier response.
- Stiffened engine mounting system
- Close ratio gearbox with modified linkages and short throw gearshift
- Sports exhaust and sports acoustic pack
KF "The quoted performance fiqures are impressive too, and the car felt quicker than its 0-60 suggest, but there is nothing wrong with 7.3"
- 0-60 mph: 7.3 secs
- 30-50 mph in 4th: 6.0 secs
- Max speed: 139 mph
- Urban mpg: 20.0
- Extra urban mpg: 41.4
- Combined mpg: 29.7
- CO2 Emissions: 227g/km
KF "The ZS180 is by far the best handling car I have ever driven, every thing about it just seemed right. My test drive though was very short (10 miles) did include a mixture of A and B roads with lots of bends and a variety of gradients. The test route also included a short section of Motorway."
- Uprated brake discs and callipers, front and rear (disc diameter: 282mm/260mm F/R)
- ABS with electronic brake force distribution
- Uprated springs and dampers, lowered ride height.
- Uprated rear anti-roll bar
- Power steering (revised tune)
- Increased castor for improved steering feel and self-centering
- Quick ratio steering rack (16.4:1 instead of 18.2:1)
KF "As you ca see from the photographs, the car looks stunning, lots of turning heads through the country villges and on the motorway. The 'Extreme' spoiler is just that, essential for stabilty at high speed, it does obscure your vision through the rear view mirror. The rear spoiler is not unlike that of the Subaru, and for fun we did park next to a Subaru for comparison."
- Deep front bumper and bib spoiler c/w fog lights
- Sculpted side sill finishers and 'Extreme' rear spoiler
- 7 x 17" 'Straights' alloy wheels with MG centre badge
- Instant Mobility System (IMS)
- Space-saver spare wheel and tyre 15" x 3.5" (with jack) -option
Colour: Platinum Silver
Others available: Trophy Yellow, Trophy Blue, Solar Red, Anthracite, Le Mans Green
KF "Our test car was the Platinum Silver, a colour I am very fond of, my very first MG was a Silver coloured MG Montego Turbo"
KF "Again the specification for the interior is impressive, and once your settled in the drivers seat behind that MG steering wheel you just dont want to get out of it again, I know I didn't.
- Driver's and passenger airbags and front side airbags
- Radio frequency remote central door locking
- Alarm system with perimetric and volumetric protection
- Robust engine immobilisation with passive remobilisation
- CFC-free air conditioning
- Electric front windows/mirrors
- Electric sunroof option
- Sports styled and shaped seats with sculpted foams (height adjustment for driver)
- 'Monaco' fabric seat facings with leather bolsters, colour keyed inserts and PVC borders and backs
- Dark rhodium fascia and door inserts and console/switch surrounds
- Silver finish dials with revised graphics and orange needles
- MG steering wheel, handbrake and gear knob
- Kenwood Stereo Radio Cassette (various CD upgrades including MP3 version)
Launch Date: 23 July
- 5dr - £15595
- 4dr - £16395
Review and photographs by Kelvin Fagan
The official MG Cars site
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