MGF (1995-2002): mid-engine roadster from 3,500 euros

MGF (1995-2002)
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It is a MG, and more should - or should - not be said about it. The more than 90-year history of the manufacturer is beyond question, and MGF like M G TF follow up in loose succession to the great predecessors from MG. They are the modern heirs to M-Type Midget, TC, MGA and MGB.

With the decline of the English auto industry, MG's star also declined. From 1981, the emblem was no longer stuck on independent series models, but on those of the sister company Austin. This only changed with the MGF in 1995, after BMW had bought the brand as part of the Rover Group the year before. In this respect, the MGF stands for a resurrection, albeit a short one. Because as early as 2005, the MG Rover Group went bankrupt. But it wasn't because of the MGF.

Good MGFs are available from 3,500 euros

The MGF cost around 40,000 marks when it came on the market in 1995.

It was around 40,000 marks At that time due for a new MGF, power steering and ABS initially cost extra in the basic version. Today there are neglected MGF from 1500 euros. Repairs are always more expensive than buying a decent copy that can be had for around 3,500 euros. Nine years after the TF expired, the availability of decent copies is drastically reduced. It won't get any better in the next few years. Many consume the MG as a low-budget roadster. The bad cars will drive up the prices of jewelry. If so, grab it now.

Great success, but no hype

The MGF sold 77,269 Copies and from 2002 the MGTF (39,280 pieces) internationally not bad. But the big hype, such as that caused by the competition Mazda with the MX-5 or BMW with the Z3, did not materialize. The MGF was never a fashion roadster - but it was always very independent, also technically. Like the EX-E study from 1985, it carries the engine in the middle. This is a concept that Toyota's MR-2 alone offers in a comparable size. In addition, the MGF dampens - with the successor TF, MG again opted for conventional dampers - via a liquid gas composite system. Both of these ensure a special driving experience in the MGF, which can also be fueled by nasty surprises at the limit. The MGF demands respect.

The high-quality fabric roof opens quickly and easily.

The fun begins with the MG F with the incredibly simple opening of the roof: release two levers, fold back, done. A Japanese Mazda MX-5, which MG saw itself compelled to respond to in the 90s, couldn't be easier. No more innumerable press studs, blind discs and knurled screws as with the MG ancestors: Two press studs fix the tarpaulin, with a little practice freedom is created in less than two minutes.

An MG F adapts to everyone

It may be unpretentious and inconspicuous from the outside, it may even appear almost shy with its compact shape and its unadorned, restrained design - when you step into the cockpit lined with fine leather, you get a different impression. You slide onto the well-cut sports seat and look at classic round instruments with sporty white dials. The gearshift lever is perfectly at hand, the pedals so far apart that even big-footed fans of the fresh air don't have to twist their square shoes like a prima ballerina when they perform their serpentine ballet. Because that's exactly what the MG F is made for As you can read in the brochure from 1998: 'The target when designing the MGF was as simple as it was ambitious: It should be the car that' offers the most driving pleasure in the world. '

Ingolf Pompe
There is little to complain about in the pretty cockpit.

The clutch comes early and hard. The circuit with its long distances, on the other hand, requires concentration, then the five gears can be jagged through. Not quite as perfect as with the MGB, but not much worse either. But the MG F offers more space, can be adapted to drivers between 1.65 and two meters in height without having to worry about colliding with the window frame during sharp braking maneuvers, as with the graceful MGA from the 50s. From 2000, MG also gave the F a standard steering wheel height adjustment.

Long-stroke 16-valve engine

Most MGFs are powered by the K-series engine with 120 hp, as is the case in the Lotus Elise or was used by Rover. The VVC version with variable valve timing is 26 hp more powerful. With a facelift in 1999, a 1.6-liter with 115 hp and a 1.8-liter with 160 hp came. From 2000 MG also offered a CVT transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. The TF was also available with 136 hp.

Sabine Hofmann
The K-Series four-cylinder also knows the central installation position from the Lotus Elise.

The 16-valve, which goes back to a design from 1988, is in the tradition of the Langhuber, which was used in MGA and MGB. The bore-to-stroke ratio is almost identical (MGB: 80.26 x 88.9, MG F: 80.0 x 89.3), and like its ancestors, the MG F does not impress with maximum performance, but with powerful performance from the lower speed range. In contrast to its cast iron predecessorsBut the light metal unit is also open to high speeds. Trumpeting loudly from its stainless steel exhaust, it willingly turns into the red range up to over 7000 rpm.

120 HP inspire while driving

With a weight of 1060 kilos, 120 HP and 165 Nm inspire, because we haven't even talked about the innovation of the MG F: It breaks with the tradition of the classic MG drive - longitudinally installed front engine and rear-wheel drive. Instead, the MG technicians thought about how they could stand up to the competition from the Far East - you remember the advertising text from the brochure: Most driving fun in the world.

So it is hardly surprising that they are right quickly came up with the combination of mid-engine and rear-wheel drive. Driving dynamics is hardly possible anymore, but the British added two wild cards with the electronically controlled power steering and the hydragas chassis. The electromechanical steering system called EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering) was only available as an option, and in series production from 1998.

Direct handling, comfortable chassis

At low speeds, it is still a bit stiff, but convincing it from medium speed through immediate target accuracy. A downer: the steering angle is quite small and the turning circle is correspondingly large. The mid-engine roadster, blessed with a weight distribution of 45:55, is wonderfully direct in the swarm of curves. On lonely patchwork streets, the tightly tuned hydragas chassis inspires. The optically and technically revised and slimmed-down version MG TF, which replaced the F in 2002, was converted to a conventional steel spring chassis due to the more complex to maintain and more expensive to produce technology. A subsequent conversion is also possible for the MG F

What both have in common is the surprise effect, which you can drive into the dramatic if you do it too wildly. Then, as is typical of the design, the two-seater likes to come over the rear axle - suddenly, because the limit area is relatively narrow. Nonetheless, the compact Brit impresses with its handiness on the asphalt meander - it seems to be addicted to ever tighter curve radii.

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