MG Rover has launched new more powerful turbodiesel versions of the Rover 75 and MG ZT saloons and Tourer (estate car) models.

The 135 CDTi-badged newcomers have more power and torque than the standard CDTi versions. Power is up from 116 to 131Ps and torque from 260 to 300Nm.

The saloon 135 CDTi reaches 60mph from rest in 10.3 secs (compared with 11.0 secs for the CDTi) but there is no apparent fuel economy penalty – the EU combined cycle figure of 48.8mpg is the same as the CDTi.

MG Rover is also introducing a parking heater as a £400 option for some 75/ZT models.

The timer control unit, in the centre armrest, can be programmed to warm the interior with three diffeent switch-on times and a fixed 30-minute heating cycle.

Alternatively, the remote locking keyfob can operate the parking heater to either over-ride the timer or activate additional operation times of up to 60 minutes, from a range of up to 600 metres.

The heater system operates both the fuel-burning heater and the car’s heating and ventilation system to function independently of the ignition, with heated coolant pumped around the engine and warm air circulated in the cabin.

Tests carried out in Scandinavia, with temperatures below –32 degrees C, showed the parking heater can warm the interior to +24C, allowing the engine to start with ease and the windows to be cleared with a single sweep of the wipers.