UK: MG Rover forms motorsport subsidiary

By just-auto.com editorial team | 27 April 2001

Britain's MG Rover Group has formed a new subsidiary company called MG Sport & Racing Ltd to run the company's motor sport programmes and associated production vehicle engineering and marketing activities.

Along with the new company comes a new sub-brand called 'MG X Power' which will be used on performance parts and associated merchandise such as rally jackets.

The letter 'X' has historic MG associations. It was used for various 'EX' engineering project and concept car model names and in the 'XP' engine number prefix while all current prototype model codes begin with 'X' and motor sport cars have 'EX' codes.

MG Rover expects the brand, with its distinctive bright green and grey colours, to become well-known world-wide - it will be plastered over all the cars and associated equipment used for motor race and rally activities.

According to MG Sport & Racing managing director Rob Oldaker (he's MG Rover's director of product development in his 'spare time'), "MG is going racing again".
In fact, they're going racing and rallying again.

The MG Lola Ex 257 Le Mans

The flagship motor sport project will be a crack at this year's Le Mans 24-hour sports car race using a car called the MG Lola EX257, which was designed and built by Lola Cars International with styling help from MG Rover's design director Peter Stevens.

The car is powered by a two-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged engine developing about 450PS, built by racing engine specialists

Advanced Engine Research.

MG Rover has entered two EX257s in the LMP675 class (Le Mans prototype with minimum weight of 675kg). Lola won the 2000 event with an AER engine so the portents are good.

Touring car fans will see the EX259, the MG ZS racing saloon which is (loosely) based on the 45 sedan, in this year's TOCA Tour series.

The MG ZR Ex 258 Rally Car

Lola and AER are the engineering consultants for two cars which use a 270PS race-tuned version of MG Rover's two-litre KV6 engine and will make their competition debut at the Silverstone International meeting on September 8 and 9.

MG Rover will use the last three British Touring Car Championship events of the 2001 season to give the cars a 'shakedown' ready for the full 2002 season. The team is being managed by West Surrey Racing which has successfully run BTCC teams for Ford and Honda.

MG Rover will return to rallying with the 25-based ZR EX258 car in the new Formula 3 Super 1600 category.

For this one, they've turned to GSE Motorsport to develop and manage the car which will be driven by Welshman Gwyndaf Evans, the 1996 British Rally Champion.

AER will prepare the 1.6-litre 200PS K-series engine and the car will, rather appropriately, have its first outing in Wales - at the Cardiff-based Rally GB on November 22 to 26.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

A Profile Of The UK Motor Industry

Automotive b2b - Strategic threats and opportunities in the automotive supply chain

MG Rover Corporate Profile