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Headline:Geneva show debut for the Rover V8Date:03/03/2004   (Click Here for more details).News
Review:Geneva Motor Show debut announces the return of the 'Rover V8'  
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MG Rover Group today, at the 74th Geneva Motor Show, unveils a new 75-derived top-of-the-range Rover V8 saloon, in the marque’s centenary year. The Rover V8 incorporates a bespoke Monogram interior and is distinguished by a new exclusive front-end treatment with large grille, wholly reminiscent of previous V8 engined Rover cars. The Rover V8 marks the return of this illustrious derivative, first introduced as the archetypal Rover P5B.

The V8 derivative provides effortless performance to the Rover range. Available initially as a highly specified flagship derived from the Connoisseur SE specification, the bespoke interior brings new levels of luxury to a car already renowned for its inherent comfort and quality. The lavish trim specification is complemented by a prestigious new development of the latest 2004 Rover 75 exterior style theme, incorporating a new full depth radiator grille and imposing front bumper design.

Kevin Howe, Chief Executive, MG Rover Group, commented: 'The return of the illustrious Rover V8 combines perfectly with the distinctive identity of this high-specification flagship and signifies an expanding confidence for the Rover marque, in its centenary year. Like its predecessors, it is a product of distinction and presence, with the new full-depth grille and front-end treatment a characteristic reminder of the refined delivery of power available from the 4.6-litre V8 harnessed under the bonnet.'


Rover V8 - Product Overview

The new full-depth open grille is reminiscent of the archetypal Rover P5B. Like the P5 and other V8-powered Rovers since, the imposing and distinctive appearance of V8 derivatives is matched by a motoring experience that has no peers in this segment of the market. The Rover V8 four-door saloon is derived from the company’s much-respected large car 75 platform. Driving the rear wheels, the in-line mounted 4.6-litre engine is matched to a smooth automatic transmission to offer refined yet effortless performance, entirely in keeping with the Grand Touring associations of this famous marque.

The vehicle displayed at Geneva incorporates a number of elements from MG Rover Group’s extensive customer personalisation Monogram range of paint colours, trims and individual features, and is an ideal way for the discerning customer to individualise this exclusive car still further. Rover’s famously comfortable seats have been trimmed in leather, designed to complement Rover’s new Light Oak wood theme. Wood and leather are used, with an elegant wood and leather steering wheel and handbrake grip. Underfoot, superior quality carpets have been specified, with additional tailored convenience mats.

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A comprehensive range of high technology features is available to complement the opulent interior of this flagship car. These include GPS guided satellite navigation, in-car Teletext TV and multi-disc DVD player with motorised screen, while audiophiles will appreciate the exceptional Harman/Kardon Hi-Fi system. These interior refinements are complemented by prestigious large diameter alloy wheels and discrete exterior badging.

Under the bonnet, the flagship V8 power unit develops 260Ps and 410Nm of torque that is fed to the road through the rear-wheels. Cruise Control is standard equipment. MG Rover Group’s unique traction control system ensures that this
considerable torque is deployed to good effect, whatever the conditions, whilst delivering rapid acceleration up to a top speed in excess of 150mph.

Derived from the power train installation first used in the MG ZT 260 V8, the proven Ford sourced engine is now mated seamlessly to a smooth automatic transmission. A new electronic engine management tune and unique exhaust and intake systems provide an impressive combination of refined cruising and an assertive, sonorous soundtrack under hard acceleration.

The V8 chassis is derived from the acclaimed rear drive MG ZT platform, launched last year. However, substantial revisions to chassis tuning have delivered a more compliant ride without sacrificing the confidence and stability inherent in the basic platform. In keeping with the immense reserves of V8 torque, the chassis has been tuned to deliver a rewarding yet relaxing driving experience. A new traction control system provides fast engine intervention to wheel slip. This has been developed in a partnership between MG Rover Group, British electronics experts Racelogic and American engine specialists Roush Industries.

Rob Oldaker, MG Rover Group’s Product Development Director, says: 'This new derivative is an impressive addition to a distinguished Rover product range. The car’s performance and poise will shorten any long-distance journey, though on arrival occupants will be reluctant to leave the luxury of this sumptuous interior!'

Performance and pricing

The Rover V8 has a maximum speed in excess of 150mph/240km/h, with acceleration to 60mph comfortably below 7 seconds. Precise market specification and pricing will be announced in due course. UK sales are expected to commence in May, followed across Europe mid-year.

The Rover V8 has been represented in products between 1967-1986 and is a hallmark of British cars with ‘power in reserve’. Her Majesty The Queen owns two Rover V8s. In their day Rover V8s were specified by Prime Ministers Harold Wilson, James Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher. Previous V8-engined Rovers include the P5B 3.5-litre, P6B 3500, SD1 3500, V8S, 3500 Vanden Plas, Vanden Plas EFi and the 3.5-litre Vitesse.

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