McLaren, the designer of the world's fastest road car, the 240mph McLaren F1, has been put in charge at Rover.

Peter Stevens, who worked as design chief at Italy's Lamborghini, will lead the now independent Rover design team.

Stevens will be based at the firm's Longbridge plant near Birmingham where he is expected to take charge of the development of the group's own supercar, the MG-Lola.

A new range of new MG products is also expected, according to the Financial Times.

The Rover group was bought from BMW earlier this year for £10 by John Towers's Phoenix consortium.