Spotting the difference between a VVC and a non-VVC MGF:

With the availability of second hand VVC style five spoke wheels (Mk1) or the ability to specify VVC-style 16" 6-square spoke wheels on MY2000 cars, and the relative lack of outward identifying features between cars equipped with the VVC or not, it is sensible for a potential purchaser of an MGF to arm themselves with a few easy methods of telling these two cars apart. See below, with pictures, for the features that identify a VVC.

1 Look at the wheels. A mk1 VVC should have five spoke alloys, whereas the MY2000 VVC has 16" 6-square spoke wheels. Many non-VVC MGFs have had 16" diameter wheels fitted as an option. If so, request to see documentation. Remember that any style wheel can be fitted to any MGF - so not a fool-proof sign.

VVC 5-spoke 15" wheel

2 Sit yourself in the drivers seat, and look at the dashboard. A VVC has a red line at 7250 rpm. A 1.8i had its red line at 6750 rpm. The picture also shows the additional warning lights associated with the ABS unit (option only on the 1.8i). Picture shows Mk1 instruments - but the same rpm red line applies to later MY2000 cars.
3 Look at the trim of your intended purchase. VVCs have half leather trim AT A MINIMUM. See cloth seats, there's a very good chance that you are looking at a 1.8i.

Pictured opposite are the half-leather seats from the Mk1 VVC.

4 If you get the chance, pop the front bonnet open. A VVC will have the ABS unit fitted as standard (seen here, positioned to the left of the spare wheel). On a 1.8i it was an optional extra.
5 If you've looked under the front bonnet, you'd have had to open the boot. Whilst there, glimpse through the engine bay grill. On the right, you should be able to see the plenum chamber labelled "VVC".
6 I've saved the best for last. To be absolutely 100% sure that the car you are looking at is a VVC, look at the chassis number. This can be found on the left hand side of the car, through the base of the windscreen glass. Read off the 8th letter. It should be a 'T' or a 'G'.

If a letter 'T' then bingo, you are looking at a genuine VVC. If a 'G', a 1.8i.


If any of the above points do not tally, then walk away. Remember that the MGF has proven to be a very popular sports car, so there are plenty of examples about.

Click here for a more complete MGF BUYERS GUIDE

Special thanks to Dave Bartram for the pictures above.