The MG TF is fundamentally a new generation of the MGF, Britain’s best selling sports car and introduces a new exterior appearance, an all-new suspension design, higher performing engines and a host of new paint, interior trim and optional hood colours.
Launched into world markets from February 2002 with an array of new improvements, the TF is led by its design, feature specification and driver enjoyment. In the UK market, the MGF has been the best selling car in the roadster sector for the last six years and the TF has been evolved to continue this tradition.
The MG styling team, led by the company’s Product Design Director, Peter Stevens, have substantially developed the exterior style and aerodynamic packaging – the two key influencing factors on purchase decision.
The TF carries a sharper, more aggressive and purposeful look, which was honed in both studio and wind tunnel. The improved aerodynamic characteristics play an integral part in the chassis development and maximise the benefits of the new suspension and steering changes.
The TF has a new front bumper, shaped to reduce front-end lift, with a framed lower air intake and the provision for ‘Fogstar’ fog lamps. All-new high-efficiency projector headlamps complete the frontal appearance.
At the rear, an integrated effective lip spoiler incorporating a high-mounted stop lamp flows from the rear deck. The TF is lower with a greater dynamic appearance, assisted by its dart-like sill features and crisply-shaped air intakes.
A crucial aspect of the TF’s engineering development was the requirement for a new suspension design. A completely new coil spring suspension and multi-link rear axle replaces the MGF’s inter-connected Hydragas system to produce a more responsive and involving set-up, re-engineered to produce a completely enjoyable driving experience. An optional Sports Handling Pack permits greater levels of driver involvement and further improved handling performance.
The MG TF is a new generation of the MGF, that recognises the ‘real world’ affordability and practicality required of a fully-functioning everyday sports car. The modified front and rear subframes are solid-mounted and the new suspension features a 10mm lower stance. This benefits appearance, stability and handling with its lower centre of gravity.
The body structure has been stiffened in crucial areas to produce a 20% more rigid shell, producing an improvement in windscreen header vibration. Steering is now more responsive, with a completely new tune for the speed-sensitive Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), with a 10% faster geared rack with revised characteristics to give a more progressive steering feel throughout the car’s speed range. On ABS equipped cars, braking distances have been shortened by 10%.
A four-model range provides customers with a spectrum of performance, style, affordability and specification. Designated by numbers closely linked to their power output, the range includes the 1.6-litre TF 115, the well-appointed 1.8-litre TF 135, the TF 120 Stepspeed with multi-function CVT sports auto and the range-topping TF 160 with the legendary Variable Valve Control K Series engine.
The TF range spans a 118mph/190km/h to 137mph/220km/h speed range capability, with improvements to performance, economy and CO2.
New paint colours – XPower Grey and Le Mans Green – are available on MG TF, with Trophy Blue and Trophy Yellow now extended to the entire range. TF also introduces three new optional hood colours – in blue, grey and green and new trim fabrics – Sebring and Daytona. Three new interior colours to complement Ash – Tan, Grenadine and Smokestone – are available with matching tonneau covers for when the hood is folded. New alloy wheels include an 11-spoke 16" design and the option of an ultra-lightweight.
Rob Oldaker, MG Rover Group’s Product Development director, explained: "The mid-engined MGF has been a great success and the new TF builds on these strengths to create a car which fully embodies MG’s passion for producing a fun and driver-rewarding road car experience. I truly believe the new MG TF can produce even more exhilaration than its competitors."
The first MG TF built will carry a 0101 VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) suffix, following an MG tradition that has used the last three numbers of the company’s telephone number - Longbridge is 0121 475 2101. Abingdon MGs from 1930 were started at 0251 (Abingdon 251), with MG Magnette ZAs and TF Midgets using a 0501 VIN following the company’s BMC Headquarters in Birmingham having the 1501 telephone number.