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2002 MG ZS180 2.5 V6 Manual Saloon in Trophy Blue. Mint For Sale

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  • £1,495 As stated
  • 2002
  • Chichester
Message the seller
Price £1,495 As stated
Ad Type For Sale
Category Modern Cars
Make MG
Model ZS
  MG ZS 180
Year 2002
Mileage 114,000 miles
Country UK
Region Sussex
Town Chichester
Telephone 01243 527414
Status Private
Date 15-May-2020
Ref C1226542
2002 MG ZS180 2.5 V6 saloon.

This is an exceptional example of the iconic MG ZS180, in Trophy Blue Metallic (JFV) with Trophy Blue and black half leather interior. The ZS180 is widely regarded as the finest handling front-wheel-drive car of the early 2000s; an opinion borne out by Tiff Needell on this very memorable road test; - details above

A good ZS180 is a fantastic driving experience and you will always look forward to driving this car.

Please note, it was a very sunny day when the photographs were taken and there are reflections all over the car - these are not imperfections in the paintwork.

This particular example has been subject to much recent time and expenditure to ensure it is both mechanically and visually tip-top. In fact, I feel this car is unique in that all the usual MG ZS failings have been addressed, meaning the new owner can purchase the car safe in the knowledge that no further expenditure will be required for years to come.

It is very unusual to find a ZS180 which has had such a comprehensive recent reworking - and so much money spent - to ensure full and correct operation. I have all the receipts to show the works detailed below.

These cars all suffer from the same failings, so I shall list all the major jobs to have been carried out over the last few years, rather than the car's entire history - which include;

The inlet manifold which works in conjunction with the V.I.S. motors has been replaced with a brand new genuine MG Rover unit in 2017 (these are currently £1,306.80 including VAT from Rimmer Bros.!). This means the internal butterfly valves are operating as they should, with none of the common rattling noises which occur when they break and no subsequent lack of performance - almost all KV6-engined cars will be suffering from this problem now. This is one of the most costly failures of the KV6 engine and a broken manifold / inoperative V.I.S. motors absolutely ruin the performance of the car and the fuel economy suffers, whilst of course it sounds terrible, too. This engine is consequently quiet and rattle-free. Most owners ignore this problem and just live with it, as it's such a costly failure to correct.

The whole clutch has been replaced (April 2020), at a cost of £400. The first one lasted 114,000 miles, so this one shouldn't need changing again for another 114,000 miles, if driven sensibly! This work was carried out by DC Automotive & Tuning, near Chichester.

On 29th March 2019, the following work was completed: both the clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder were replaced, along with 2 new rear brake calipers, new brake pads, new handbrake cables and replacement fluid (£781.91), so that's more common failures addressed and not requiring attention. Just 2,500 miles have been covered since.

In September 2017 the troublesome clutch slave cylinder bracket was replaced with an upgraded unit (£246.06), which is a common failure on the ZS180 and something which won't need replacing again.

The cam belts (there are three on the 2.5 KV6 engine), tensioners and water pump were all replaced in July 2017 at 103,993 miles (£786.77). This is again a very costly and time consuming job, but one which only requires carrying out every 6 years / 90,000 miles on the KV6 engine, such is the size and thickness of the large cam belts on the V6 engine. Only 11,000 miles have been covered since.

In June 2018, there is a receipt for £573.70 for some new tyres, more brake calipers and an airbag E.C.U.

A new battery was fitted in June 2019 at a cost of £95.

There are obviously lots of other receipts from recent works, including many parts replaced in 2017 such as CV joints, spark plugs, ignition leads, crankshaft & oxygen sensors, etc. and I have all the receipts available to view.

Every usual failing of the ZS 180 I can think of has been sorted, leaving the new owner to just get in and enjoy the car.

The car has just been serviced, ready for the new owner and it has currently, at the time of writing, covered zero miles since - so no further servicing is required for another year. Top-quality Castrol 10/40 semi-synthetic oil has been used, as per MG Rover's specification.

The MoT is valid until October and just 2,500 miles have been covered since the last one. Obviously the 6 month Government MoT extension means the car will in fact be MoT'd until April 2021, meaning almost a full year remains until the MoT is due. Various advisories from last year's MoT have been rectified.

As you'd expect from an enthusiast-owned MG, it runs and drives exactly as it should. It always starts first time every time when the key is turned, with the 2.5 litre quad-cam 24v V6 bursting into life and always running smoothly, whether hot or cold. There are never any misfires and it never runs hot or uses any coolant. The oil is obviously golden and crystal clear and it never requires any topping up. There is no smoke from the exhaust.

The ride is firm and totally composed when cornering, with no discernable body roll on faster corners and no knocks from the suspension. As soon as you set off in a ZS180, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a racing car for the road - it feels as if every component on the car's chassis and suspension was designed with a sporting drive in mind - and to be as good as it could possibly be, with frankly incredible grip and composure in all driving conditions. They are thoroughly engaging and enjoyable cars to drive and feel like such a welcome departure from today's benign and restrained cars, which in my opinion have far too many ECUs and electronic driving aides, resulting in a rather detached and numb drive. You will always look forward to driving this car - the ZS180 feels lightweight, willing and eager.

The 180 bhp engine sounds absolutely wonderful and always pulls hard, enabling the car to accelerate just how it should. Obviously with a 0-60mph of 7.3 seconds, this is a very quick car and it's clear it hasn't lost any of its 180 bhp or 177lbs/ft torque. The only modification on the car - an upgraded air filter - gives the car a very nice muted rumble which they lack in standard form and provides a slight increase in power. It sounds absolutely wonderful. The whole exhaust is standard, so there's no ugly drainpipe at the rear and no unnecessarily noisy exhaust note - just an intoxicating roar from the V6 if you press on, or a distant hum should you wish to relax behind the wheel. You never forget what a magnificent engine you have under the bonnet and having six cylinders means the 180 is far superior to all its hot hatch rivals of the era, which made do with just four cylinders - and none of them sounded as good. It's amazing to think the only other rival to have a V6 engine - the Clio V6 is now around £30,000 more than this car, with not much more power and nothing like the cornering ability of this car.

The steering is perfect and very responsive with great feel in the bends - and the car does not veer left or right if you take your hands off the wheel. The brakes are very impressive and always feel reassuringly effective, with good sized ventilated discs up front. The gearchange is beautifully weighted and precise, with a nice short throw which compliments the driving experience. It has premium tyres all round - Toyo T1R tyres at the front and Bridgestones at the rear. They have plenty of life left.

The interior, as I hope you can see from the photos, is absolutely immaculate, considering this car is 17-years-old. I have spent two weeks of lockdown thoroughly cleaning and restoring the interior; I am rather "OCD" when it comes to this and am only happy when I get to the point where an interior is at least as clean as the day it left the factory!

The first job I undertook was to remove the seats from the car to wash and scrub them using hot water and Molton Brown Orange & Bergamot liquid soap, which is a pretty expensive way of doing it, but it smells fantastic and cleans the seats to perfection. Each seat was washed individually, then jet washed to ensure any ingrained dirt and remaining soap was blasted away and then I repeated the whole process again, just to be sure.

While the seats were out, I vacuumed the carpet and washed and scrubbed the whole lot manually by hand, again with hot water and soap, then used a Vax wet & dry cleaner to complete the job. The carpets now appear as-new and have no wear apparent anywhere.

I restored the steering wheel to perfection, which looks great.

I'm sure anyone reading this will know what a problem the door cards are on the ZS models, with shrinking & sagging material often looking very scruffy. I decided to restore all four, along with the steering wheel, which has completed the restoration of the interior and completely transformed the appearance. I've spent hours and hours doing this, but it was well worth it.

Unusually this one has rear electric windows, which is a rare factory-fitted option. It also has a newly-fitted top-of-the-range Sony CD stereo, which is excellent quality and quite an upgrade on the original Kenwood. The clock's LCD display has been replaced, so all digits function and are visible - which is another common failing. The interior really is a lovely place to be and I can guarantee is the most immaculately clean and fresh interior you'll ever find this side of a brand new car. Every inch of the interior has been cleaned and scrubbed to perfection, including all interior plastics, seatbelts, door cards, gear knob, dashboard, interior handles, buttons, steering controls and even places you'll never see like under the seats! You won't find a spec of dirt and it smells refreshingly clean and fresh.

The exterior of the car is excellent for a 2002 vehicle which retains its original factory-finished paintwork. The sensational metallic Trophy Blue paint is absolutely iconic - and being the launch colour, by far the most sought-after and desirable. It is all one colour and shiny & bright, with no lacquer peel or deterioration of the roof, which is becoming very common on these cars. It's clearly not been left outside in all weathers and there is no serious damage anywhere. Obviously being 17-years-old, it is not perfect, with minor imperfections and the wheels have some kerbing, although they are way better than any others I've seen, which are often heavily corroded. The car obviously has no rust on the bodywork anywhere. It's a fantastic looking car, as I hope the photos show. This is not a car for shrinking violets - the striking paint colour along with the enormous "Extreme" rear wing means this car turns heads and is very much cast from the Subaru Impreza rally car mould. It's an amazing looking car for such little money.

I think I've covered everything, but if there is anything I've missed, please just ask.

I've priced this car very cheaply indeed. It's had a lot of time and money thrown at it - far more money than the asking price - so someone will get a bargain. It is only for sale as I have recently acquired another ZS180 saloon - this one in Anthracite Metallic, which was the colour I've been looking for now for years - so very regretfully I'm letting this one go, as it now has no garage to live in and I don't really need two.

Viewings are no problem and I will observe social distancing regulations at all times. I have no idea how test drives can be carried out in light of that, but we will work something out, if you so wish. If you are currently unable to collect the car and feel unsafe leaving home, I'm happy to hold the car for you if you are a serious buyer, assuming a deposit is placed.

I'm keen for this stunning Trophy Blue ZS180 to go to good new home, as these cars are disappearing fast and one day will be seriously rare. Only around 6,000 ZS 180 V6 models were produced, so it was never a common sight and I'd like this car to last at least another 17 years!
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