MG Rover Group has today (September 23) launched the V8 powered MG ZT 260 V8. The rear-wheel drive vehicle, available in ZT saloon and ZT-T estate car, powered by a 260bhp 4.6-litre V8 engine and with an awesome 410Nm of torque to deliver class-leading acceleration, is now available for customer order in the UK. With an on-the-road price starting at £27,995, the ZT 260 offers an unbeatable combination of price and performance.
Rob Oldaker, MG Rover Group’s Product Development Director, commented: 'The MG ZT 260 V8 demonstrates our commitment to deliver cars of true pedigree and character. This is a truly rewarding car to drive. Our choice of a big, torquey engine has been vindicated as this is a deceptively quick and efficient cross-country car. The more you drive it, the more you appreciate its unique ‘muscle car’ character that flies in the face of our competitors’ trend towards buzzy high-revving engines.
'Its introduction means MG now has the broadest range in its 80-year history. The new V8 heralds the return of the practical British muscle car, and as an MG it’s obviously great value too.'
The ZT 260 is a fully engineered
evolution of the front-wheel drive ZT.
Clever installation techniques have permitted the larger capacity engine
and rear-wheel drive power-train to be incorporated within the robust bodyshell, without major visual changes. Below the skin the
platform is largely new with significant changes to many functional vehicle
systems to accommodate the revised drive-line layout, to produce a car of great
Recently a development ZT-T V8 was
taken to the Salt Flats at Bonneville, Utah where the
MG achieved a maximum speed of 225mph from a specially tuned V8 engine variant.
Design and Development
The development engineers were
briefed to deliver the ultimate antidote to an anodyne world. The challenges involved in transforming the
drive platform and packaging a large capacity V8 engine into the existing
front-wheel drive vehicle should not be underestimated. Advanced computer techniques were used to
package the new hardware without sacrificing the strengths of the established
ZT platform. Sophisticated modelling
techniques were used to refine the kinematics of the completely new multi-link
rear axle configuration and to ensure that despite the revised engine
installation, the car continues to meet the latest standards for occupant
protection in all its markets.
Given the magnitude of the
changes, it is no surprise that ZT has been extensively tested, seeing action
in climates ranging from the bitterly harsh conditions of the Swedish winter through
to the burning heat of high speed testing in Arizona and Australia.
Externally there is little clue to
the extent of body structure changes necessary to accommodate the new
rear-wheel drive powerunit, indeed ZT 260 shares the same
acclaimed style of the front-wheel drive ZTs. Extensive changes have been made to the underfloor, with new designs for the front and rear floor,
as well as an enlarged transmission tunnel to accommodate the in-line
gearbox. A new manufacturing facility
has been commissioned alongside the existing sophisticated ZT manufacturing
line to ensure these changes to the body are delivered to consistently high
The ZT 260 utilises Ford’s proven 4.6-litre V8
engine, widely used in North America to power
the iconic Ford Mustang. Modifications
have been made to the powertrain to assist in
packaging the engine while MG’s engineers have also
developed new intake, exhaust and emissions control systems to ensure the
vehicle complies with stringent European noise legislation with no loss of
power or torque. A new electronic engine
calibration helps ensure the car exceeds current European emissions
The exhaust system, twinned for most of the length
of the car, is distinguished by new quad-tailpipes. Outside the system produces a classic V8
burble, while inside the cabin remains quiet until aroused by the throttle when
it resounds to the sporting note of a true thoroughbred.
ZT 260 features Tremec’s TR3650 five-speed manual gearbox, manufactured in North
America. The unit
has been extensively modified to meet MG’s needs and
features unique gearing to suit the demands of European driving. MG’s engineers have
also developed an all-new gear selection system and bespoke hydraulic clutch
actuation to ensure precise and positive gear changes.
The rear axle features Dana’s Hydratrak® limited slip differential system, which utilises
vane-pump principles to ensure continuous and seamless torque transmission to
both rear wheels in the event of wheel speed differential.
Steering and Suspension
The ZT 260’s steering and
suspension systems have evolved radically to match the performance of the V8
power unit. Developed by driving
enthusiasts for enthusiasts, the team focused their efforts on honing the car’s
classic rear-drive handling to provide seamless, fluid and adjustable attitude
control under the widest range of conditions.
The result is a car that blends day-to-day ease of use with the
driver-rewards of a true thoroughbred.
Power steering, driven by a higher
capacity pump, is now via a new forward mounted rack layout providing excellent
feel and driver feedback to the leather-bound wheel.
geometry of the ZT's MacPherson
strut front suspension has been tuned to the requirements of the new chassis
platform. A new design of upright is
matched to Eibach linear rate springs and a new,
larger diameter anti-roll bar. Wheel
response is controlled by Bilstein monotube struts, which combine a large piston area for fine
tuning resolution with very high bending stiffness for improved camber
control. The design employs a
significantly revised subframe, which provides a
stable operating platform for the chassis while also acting as a key loadpath in the event of a major impact.
A new multi-link rear suspension
has been developed specifically for the ZT 260 V8. A new six-mount subframe
houses the Hyrdratrak® differential, while each wheel
is located by three lateral links (two steel and one light-alloy) and a light
alloy trailing arm. Compound rate
springs, also sourced from race specialist Eibach,
work in conjunction with Bilstein monotube
dampers to provide excellent wheel control.
Roll behaviour is controlled by a new anti-roll bar.
Both ZT 260 models feature 18”
alloy wheels; the attractive ‘Straights’ design is specified on the ZT 260 with
a new ‘Apex’ 10-blade design on the ZT 260 SE. Contisport
225/45 ZR18 tyres balance excellent lateral stability with crisp, precise steer
ZT 260 has a new H-split braking
system providing excellent stopping power.
At the front, proven large capacity 325mm ventilated discs and
sliding-pin callipers are specified. At
the rear a new AP-Racing sourced brake system is specified with 332mm
ventilated discs and opposed piston alloy callipers.
A new HEVAC (Heating, Ventilation
and Air conditioning) unit is fitted to the ZT 260. The new unit is a water-blend design
featuring a dedicated electronic control unit to drive servo-motor valves to
regulate the water flow around the heating circuit. This system has been refined to offer similar
levels of response and control to the existing ZT’s
acclaimed air-blending system. All
models feature ATC (Automatic Temperature Control), using the familiar
user-friendly interface of other ZT models.
A discreet V8 badge in the centre
of the fascia differentiates the interior of the car, while other aspects of
the cabin environment are broadly similar to the existing ZT models.
A new moulding below the boot
floor accommodates the relocated battery and the CD autochanger
(standard on the ZT 260 SE). Major
controls, which include steering, clutch and gear selection
have all been refined to suit the ZT 260 V8’s more muscular character.
Black leather trim, highline
satellite navigation that includes a Teletext
equipped TV tuner and park distance sensors are but a few of the features that
distinguish the SE.
ZT 260 V8
– Product specification
front windows and heated door mirrors
steering wheel and gear knob
passenger and side (thorax) airbags
‘Straights’ multi-spoke alloys with 225/45 ZR18 tyres
spoiler (on ZT saloon)
Thatcham Category 1* approved alarm immobiliser system
ZT 260 SE models include the
following additional features:
18” ‘Apex’ 10-blade
of ‘lip’ or ‘wing’ boot lid spoiler (on ZT saloon)
load restraint net cassette system (on ZT-T estate)
chromatic self-dimming rear view mirror
leather seat trim
*Subject to final approval
Pricing and Competition
The range is launched in both ZT
saloon and ZT-T estate models and is available in two trim specifications. The MG ZT 260 V8 starts from an on-the-road
price of £27,995, with the higher specified SE model £32,750 OTR. MG ZT-T 260 V8 estate models start from
With its large displacement engine
offering 410Nm of torque, its rewarding driving experience and excellent
feature specification, the ZT 260 V8 will attract buyers from established
premium sports saloons such as the BMW 330i, Jaguar
X-TYPE 3.0 and Volvo S60 T5.
First Reg. Fee
ZT 260 V8
ZT 260 V8 SE
ZT-T 260 V8
ZT-T 260 V8 SE
The ZT 260 will initially be
offered first in the UK, then
progressively across export markets.
Options and Accessories
ZT 260 shares the wide range of
options and accessories available across other ZT models, with the addition of
an optional, factory-approved ‘Trackstar’ (stolen
vehicle tracking) system available to supplement the ZT 260 V8’s sophisticated,
standard fit theft prevention systems.
MG ZT / ZT-T 260 V8
Technical specification and
ZT 260 ZT-T
SOHC, 2V SOHC,
Max power kW 191 191
Ps 260 260
speed rpm 5000 5000
Max torque Nm 410 410
lb.ft 302 302
speed rpm 4000 4000
Max 'red-line' speed rpm 6000 6000
Cd 0.33 0.35
CdA m2 0.72 0.75
Unladen weight kg 1680-1770 1740-1835
manual Five-speed manual
Final drive ratio 3.46:1 3.46:1
Wheels/tyres front/rear 7.5J 225/45 ZR18 7.5J 225/45 ZR18
ratio 3.460 3.460
5th 0.730 0.730
4th 1.000 1.000
3rd 1.330 1.330
2nd 1.990 1.990
1st 3.370 3.370
Reverse 3.615 3.615
Overall gearing /1000rpm
5th mph (km/h) 29.7 (47.7) 29.7 (47.7)
Max speed (limited) mph (km/h) 155 (250) 155
Engine speed @ Max rpm 5190 5110
0 - 60mph secs 6.2 6.3
0 - 100km/h secs 6.6 6.7
0 - 100mph secs 16.3 16.8
0 - 1/4 mile secs 14.9 15.0
0 - 1000m secs 26.9 27.1
gear) secs 5.5 5.7
gear) secs 5.5 5.7
gear) secs 6.9 7.1
Maximum speed in gears
5th mph (km/h) 155 (250) 155 (250)
Fuel economy (Directive 99/100/EC)
Urban mpg (l/100km) 15.8 (17.9) 15.8 (17.9)
Extra-Urban mpg (l/100km) 27.2 (10.4) 27.2 (10.4)
Combined mpg (l/100km) 21.5 (13.2) 21.5 (13.2)
CO2 g/km 314 314
Provisional insurance group