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TCV concept at Geneva in Car magazine

April's Car magazine arrived this morning.

Page 22

"'Exceptionally Practical Concept' re-interprets Rover brand.

MG Rover is lookiong to the future of the Viking longship with a brand new concept car, which makes its debut at the Geneva motor show. Dubbed the Tourer Concept Vehicle (TCV), it re-interprets the Rover brand as 'combining luxury style and driving enjoyment with exceptional practicatlity and adaptability'. It's the first time a Rover-badged concept car has been made public since the CCV-coupe in 1986.

Despite the expectations, the appearance of the TCV won't be accompanied by the long-awaited announcement of production partnerships, MG Rover suggests talks with China Brilliance and India's Tata are 'under way and positive' but without conclusion.

Rover won't say what the TCV is based on, but describes it as an 'upper medium car, slightly shorter than a 75 saloon. Despite the extra ground clearance, beefy tyres and SUV-ish body cladding, this isn't a 4x4 - presumably a consequence of ***'s deal to sell off Land Rover.

The TCV has very flexible load-lugging abilities. The three-section rear seat folds flat, level with the load bay, as does the front passenger's seat. The result is that items up to 3.1m long can be housed. Seats can also be folded into 'table top' mode. the centre rear seat squab can be swapped for 'slot-in' modules including a child seat or fridge/food warmer.

A wide-opening rear hatch is supplemented by a drop-down bumper and a removable boot floor. With no spare wheel, this creates an 'exceptionally' deep cargo space capable of swallowing a front-loading washing machine in an upright position. 'The TCV shows the kind of all-round versatility and luxury that we believe a Rover should offer,' says Rob Oldaker, MG Rover's product development director."

4 pictures are included with the following captions:

"Itchy Nose

Perhaps the TCV's weakest aspect, the nose is modern but unoriginal. Grille seems to still be providing problems for designers. Ironically, it was re-introduced onto Rover's a decade ago.

Deep Space Boot

No spare wheel and (it seems) side-mounted exhaust silencers allow central section of floor to be dropped right down. Holds a washing machine standing upright, for a clean getaway.

Swedish Modern

Rear looks clean and modern. Hints of Scandinacvian chic about the Saab-like tail. Rover's Viking badge was a Scandinavian talisman, promising 'safety over long journeys'."


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