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They may have gone bankrupt, but MG Rover will always remain an interesting and unique manufacturer. Especially in its last days, after returing from BMW to independancy, MG was the alternative brand name to sporty Rover models. Not a completely silly idea that MG Rover brought to fashion here. In the IRC debut season Fiat decided to revive the Abarth name, only this time as a brand name. Such i.e. a sporty Fiat Punto would be the Abarth Punto. Exactly what MG Rover did here.
In the case here the MG ZR is the sporty version of the Rover 25. And that was a well put together car. For being a C-segment hatchback it was on the small and light side, but it still compared well. In fact being light was important, as curiosly the MG ZR featured a 1.8 litre engine. Now, being an interesting and unique manufacturer, even with budget problems, it is always nice if a manufacturer remembers those amateur and newcomer drivers that may have talent but have to watch their money. And it is typical for the traditional rally fans that MG Rover are to create a budget groupN car. Only as a FWD, non-turbo groupN car, for its 1.8 litre engine the car would have to be moved into the N3 class for cars up to 2000cc. Not ideal, but once again for its marketing segment it is a light car, well put together with superb handling.
Obviously as a groupN up to 2000cc FWD car it was never meant to be a car for works drivers at WRC level. Nevertheless former MG JWRC driver Gwyndaf Evans drove one groupN MG ZR on the RAC 2003. He had a trouble free run and finished 27th overall. Put into relation, this was a class win in N3, despite not being near the 2000cc class limit, it was 7th place in groupN, beaten only by 4x4 turbo machinery on a gravel rally, and it was even 5th fastest 2WD car despite this being a round of the JWRC with heavily tuned kit cars! See, already as the base road car, as basically rallied here, the MG ZR was a superb package!
Maybe some more words to this car having a 1.8 litre engine. Sure a 2.0 would have been better, but it is an old, traditional MG Rover engine and in the ZR it produces 160BHP even in standard road trim. This however is also interesting with an eye on the MG ZR S1600 Kit Car. Because the MG ZR as the sporty version of the Rover 25 is only available as a 1.8. This in turn means the MG ZR S1600 car never used an MG ZR engine, it was only called MG to promote its sporty brand name! Indeed the S1600 version of this car uses the 1.6 engine found in the more civil Rover 25, the Rover 45 and the classic cabrio MG F.
Model & Evo. (Activity)
|ZR 160 (03-22)||160/6900||174/4700||4011.1688.1400||1185 (7.4)||FWD (2500)|
Sorry, there are no photos.
This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.
|27th.||2003 WRC Rally of Great Britain||G. Evans||C. Mole||#111||[UNKNOWN]||0:00:00|
There are no results on record.