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The new car is a good three years away, but several basics have already been decided.

It will be front-engined, the power unit mounted well behind the front axle to the benefit of weight distribution and roadholding, and it will be rear-wheel drive, the layout best able to produce driver entertainment.

The new MG, codenamed X70, will be powered by a choice of four cylinder K series engines, some with a supercharger, as well as the KV6 - unless new alliances with other car makers produce alternative options - and be available with a six-speed manual or a sequential gearshift option.

The body structure will be steel monocoque rather than aluminium - alloy was considered, but the improved characteristics of high strength steels are more cost-effective, and are easier to engineer for good crash performance.

Suspension will probably consist of double wishbones at the front, and a sophisticated multi-link double wishbone arrangement at the rear. Front mid-engined layouts are increasingly popular because they provide safer handling characteristics at very high speeds, while enabling the keen drive to steer with the throttle thanks to rear-wheel drive. It's all down to weight distribution. The rear weight bias of rear mid-engined cars can result in very tricky road behaviour at high speeds, occasionally leading to high-speed spins.

Front mid-engined cars have a forward weight bias that makes them less prone to spinning, while ensuring decent traction for the driven rear wheels as well as allowing the driver to adjust his line with the accelerator mid-bend.

It's a layout long featured in the *** 3 series, as well as the Z3 and Z8 sports cars too. TVRs, Honda's S2000 and Nissan's 350Z also use the layout, as will Aston Martin's its forthcoming cheaper sports car.

In the nearer future, expect the next development with the MG TF to be the emergence of a 200 bhp supercharged version - a model long-predicted, but never seen, in the MGF range. In acceleration terms, it should take the TF towards supercar territory.

Autotrader - 6 Feb 2002

X70/X71 on XPower Site + Image
 

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Has anyone got any more detail on this car?

As my job will provide me with daily cars (dealer Demo's) when my ZS is due for replacement, this, a Lotus Elise or a 2nd hand Griffith, would be my weapon of choice for high days & holidays.

What are the chances of the top of the range using the 4.6 V8 from the ZT? If so, I may well shelve plans for the TVR & buy a brand new X70/71 instead.
 

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I was looking at a Reliant Sabre the other day. It still looked quite sharp and of course was fitted with the K series engine. I think MG-R should look around for the tooling for that vehicle as its laying around somewhere unused. Just a thought as it would make a cheap Miget replacement.
 

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Haven't things come a long way since the Reliant Sabre? The original was a Nissan engine IIRC.
But there are possibilities as a number of the kit cars use the K series and are prettier IMHO, such as the GTM range, I have always wondered why these don't sell better as a mainstream car considering the fact there is a closed and open top version using the K in a mid engined platform, and 100/Metro interior. Does anyone know what the handling is like compared to a F/TF?
Then there are the Banham range of cars using the K series. A Porsche Spyder replica?

But with these cars, there is the question of modern build regs which would mean intensive testing etc and just look at what happened when they took the existing Qvale Mangusta to make the SV, it might have been easier to start with a clean sheet.
 
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