2004 MG Xpower SV – Classified of the Week

3

By Chris Pollitt

We’ve spoken about the MG XPower SV before, so when we saw this one pop up on our classifieds there was no way we could ignore it. We love this car’s flawed brilliance, not to mention the sheer lunacy of it. It was a car nobody asked for, it was a car so far out of MG’s wheel-house it may as well have been a speedboat, it was daft and loud and because of all of that, it was brilliant. Though, it was also a bit rubbish, but in a weird, underdog way, that just served to add to the charm. 

MG MG Xpower SV, MG XPower, XPower, MG SV, V8 classified of the week, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, muscle car, British V8, Mustang V8, De Tomaso, carandclassic, carnadclassic.co.uk

Shortly before the company’s demise, the MG Rover Group was in a buying frenzy and one company it bought was Qvale, which somewhat handily had bought De Tomaso itself and as such, had a two-seater sports coupe in the works. It was this car that would become the XPower, though to begin with, it was known as the X80 and was being developed under the newly-formed company, MG X80 Ltd. In 2001, MG rolled out a concept that we, the general public along with the motoring press, thought was a bit too bland! 

MG went back to the drawing board and went bananas with the pencils. MG also drafted in Peter Stevens, the designer of the McLaren F1, to give the new car (by this point the MG XPower SV) a new, more aggressive look. And he delivered, bringing us the car we see here. It was wide, it was low, it had more gilles than an aquarium and it looked like nothing MG had ever done before. It certainly wasn’t built like any other MG. Made largely from carbon fibre and hand-assembled, it was a nightmare to build and in doing so employed teams in the UK and Turin. Under all that carbon fibre was a 4.6 Ford V8 mated to a five-speed Tremec manual transmission. It tipped the scales at a mere 1,540kg and could be had with 320bhp (SV) or a terrifying 385bhp (SV R). Lunacy, in a nutshell. 

MG MG Xpower SV, MG XPower, XPower, MG SV, V8 classified of the week, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, muscle car, British V8, Mustang V8, De Tomaso, carandclassic, carnadclassic.co.uk

The car featured here is the more ‘restrained’ SV version. But 320bhp is not to be sniffed at in a car so light, so worry not. You’re still going to be in for one hell of a rise, especially with stabilization and traction assistance being on the sparse side. 

Finished in British Racing Green with Oyster alcantara/leather innards, this MG XPower SV definitely wears the right, traditional colours for a sporty British car. Though, there is nothing traditional about the huge split-rim wheels, or the harnesses, or the many vents, so don’t think people will mistake it for an MGB! 

MG MG Xpower SV, MG XPower, XPower, MG SV, V8 classified of the week, classic car, retro car, motoring, automotive, muscle car, British V8, Mustang V8, De Tomaso, carandclassic, carnadclassic.co.uk

This car is an ex-demonstrator, it boasts full history and has only covered a mere 11,800 in its sixteen years. And it’s not the sparse, race car you might think it to be. You get air conditioning, electric windows and even a CD player. You could use it for the daily commute. Possibly. Of course, the real reason you buy a car like this is to celebrate that even when the curtain was drawing on MG Rover, there was still some brilliance to be had. Some lunacy, too. This car is a reminder that when we put our minds to it, the British can build something truly special. 

Enjoyed this article?

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest articles, news, classic cars, auctions and events every Thursday - compiled expertly by the Car & Classic team

Article's featured image

1989 Volkswagen Golf Rallye – Project Profile

The Mk2 Volkswagen Golf has cemented itself as a proper classic car. It might not be as pure or as nimble as the first Volkswagen Golf, but there is no denying that it carries with it a charm and appeal that models after the Mk2 failed to capture. In GTi guise, the Mk2 Golf was […]

Article's featured image

LM002 – Lamborghini’s Heavyweight

  The concept of the sports utility vehicle, or SUV for short, is one the masses seem to have picked up and run with. Ask some industry experts and they’ll put the Nissan Qashqai of all things at ground zero. SUV genesis, if you will. The same experts will also tell you that the Nissan […]

Article's featured image

2000 Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale – Classified of the Week

If it looks like a Challenge Stradale, goes like a Challenge Stradale and sounds like a Challenge Stradale, it probably is one? Not in this case. This Ferrari 360 has been turned into something you could never order from Maranello, a 6-Speed Manual equipped Challenge Stradale. The Challenge Stradale was sold as the highest performance […]

Article's featured image

Top Five Two-Wheeled Movie Stars

Kawasaki Ninja GPz900R – Top Gun In 1986, when Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell got his shot and arrived at Miramar air base having saved Cougar in the Indian Ocean, he chased an F-14 jet down the runway, punching the air and expressing his love of all things that eschew speed. The angular machine he was riding […]

Article's featured image

Three isn’t a Crowd – Mercedes-Benz 190SL

The following article was written and submitted by Car & Classic reader, Suzie Pilkington (you may remember her from the Ferrari Parts article). If you have a car, an interesting story and some pictures to go with it, and you’d like to see them all on our magazine, please do get in touch with our […]