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29th June 2001


MG has today (July 2) unveiled another Extreme model – MG ZT XPower 500 – one of a number of Extreme MG cars that have been produced to demonstrate the strength, potential and very soul of their outrageous ability.

MG Extreme vehicles are individual developments, not intended for series production, but developed from prototypes to illustrate the integrity and extremities of the chassis and powertrain engineering, with each one outrageously powerful and road legal.

The MG ZT XPower 500 comes just weeks after the company revealed an equally powerful MGF XPower 500, but this time the power is produced from a muscular V8, producing 500Ps and combined with a brutal 400 lb. ft of torque.

With 108bhp per litre, delivered by a 4.6-litre quad-cam V8, Vortec supercharging and aftercooled, the ZT XPower 500 produces a power-to-weight ratio of 312bhp per tonne. Mated to a T56 six-speed manual gearbox, the MG produces awesome acceleration to 100mph in 8.4 seconds. 60mph flashes past from a standstill in 4.5 seconds, dependent on surface traction.

The V8 installation is the first in the MG ZT and preludes the launch in the spring of road going 260Ps versions, before an ‘ultimate’ version with 375Ps is introduced, itself heavily influenced by the ZT XPower 500.

Front engine/rear wheel drive configuration has a weight distribution balance of 56F:44R, producing an ideal mass distribution and yaw inertia, that allows progressive and proportional breakaway at the limits of adhesion, permitting complete driver involvement and the rewards of a controlled driving experience.

Exterior styling provides a purposeful stance while housing the huge 18" alloy road wheels and 245/40 front and 275/35 rear ZR18 tyres. A new wider front bumper has been profiled with harder-edged forms, integrating the wider wheel arches, side skirts and functional aerodynamic appendages.

Styled under the leadership of Peter Stevens, MG Rover’s Product Design Director, a high mounted wing-type rear spoiler dominates the rear end, and provides essential aerodynamic control, tuned for zero lift, over a spectrum of road speeds and yaw angles. Stability is assured whether the MG is operating at 70mph or super-car speeds exceeding 170mph!

Front strut suspension uses a similar layout to the ZT190 and features a tubular subframe. Bilstein dampers, rated springs, anti-roll bars and large alloy 4-pot AP Racing brakes harnessing 330mm ventilated discs, are all specified to give a truly awesome driving experience.

The rear suspension evolves the ZT’s Z-axle, with a tubular carrier for the Hydratrak torque control differential, which incorporates three transverse and one substantial longitudinal suspension link arms. Both front and rear suspension is tuned to provide complete and precise feel to the driver of road and vehicle behaviour.

Inside, Sparco two-tone sports-race seats and competition harnesses ensure the occupants remain firmly restrained in the company of a product capable of generating outrageous acceleration, braking and cornering forces.

Rob Oldaker, Product Development Director, commented: "The MG ZT XPower 500 is an audacious illustration of the excitement, talent and passion, that was latent in our engineers. Given the opportunity to develop an Extreme MG super-car, high on driving exhilaration, their energy has been unleashed in producing a road going sensation.

"The lid that restrained development of MG products in recent years, has been blown off and the results are truly explosive. MG’s new approach – to be sensational and outrageous – is being seen in blistering style. Stunning performances in the Le Mans 24 Hour race and the amazing pace of new model introductions has attracted phenomenal interest.

"The MG ZT XPower 500 is ‘just another’ example of our engineering capability and enthusiasm for this fast accelerating MG brand. The launch in the next few days of the MG ZR, MG ZS and MG ZT, will give driving enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the MG brand strengths at first hand."


Issued by MG Rover Group Communications & Public Affairs





Eight cylinders in Vee

4.6-litre V8 Aluminium alloy block & heads

Maximum power

500Ps @ 7000rpm

Maximum torque

400 lbs ft @ 5000rpm

Specific Output:

108bhp per litre

Power to weight:

312bhp per tonne


Front, longitudinal, rear wheel drive

Valve gear:

4 per cylinder DOHC

Compression ratio:



Vortec supercharger and aftercooled




Six speed manual




7.4 mph/1000




11.1 mph/1000




15.2 mph/1000




19.7 mph/1000




24.7 mph/1000




31.3 mph/1000





Final Drive Ratio:

3.73:1 Hydratrak speed sensing LSD






MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar


Independent, multi-link, semi-trailing arms,

coil springs, anti-roll bar



Braking System:



AP Racing 330mm vented discs, four pot alloy callipers


AP Racing 306mm vented discs, two pot alloy callipers



Wheel & Tyres:



8.5J x 18" Alloy

245/40 ZR18


9.5J x 18" Alloy

275/35 ZR18







0 - 60 mph

4.5 secs


0 - 100 mph

8.4 secs


Maximum speed:







1600 kg


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