TF Sighting!

Click here to see MGF model development and history

I am feeling "Le-Mans Green" with envy currently, as Ed spotted the new MGTF undergoing journalistic evaluation at Pendine sands in South Wales! Lucky lucky chappie! Sadly, Ed was not able to give the car it's "first drive" by an existing MGF owner- but hopefully we will all get this opportunity soon. So over to Ed to give us his impressions of the MG TF160…

Having a little break here in South Wales, I thought I'd wander down to Pendine to see if the Museum of Speed was open (no, but I was never that much into drugs anyway). Drove down to get as close as I could to the beach and what do I see but an F parked on the sand. But hang on, that's an odd colour green for an F, no? Oh, and look, it's got a funny lip on the boot, and... oooh!: a TF! The boys from Car magazine taking a few photos of it, for the review (apparently in March, and apparently 12 pages of it). If the brief chat I had with them is anything to go by it should be glowing, too. Tom, who was reviewing it, had had it out on the track yesterday (this guy drives an Elise 111s), and he said he loved it - couldn't get it to let go at all. Also said they'd be really interested to hear my opinions of the car and how it drove; they were going to let me have a go, but were running out of time, so we had to can that idea.

What can I say about the car? Well, it looks, after the various shots that have been around, surprisingly like an F. Boot, side skirts, rear bumper, front bumper and headlights are the only body changes I noticed (and we spent a while comparing mine and the TF). The rear-three quarter view of the car, which is what I first saw, is identical - that distinctive 'chord-line' that runs down the sides hasn't been changed a bit.

[The car's stance] seems a little more tilted downwards, which is either suspension or the new front. The grille is nowhere near as intrusive as I'd thought, although the lamp clusters are a little too aggressive for me, but then apparently it's a much more aggressive drive. There is also a pair of cross braces added at both ends - over the engine access panel and under the bonnet, presumably to add stiffness. Love the Le Mans green too - nowhere near as bright as I thought it'd be. My most distinctive impression of it though, is that it's still an F.

We spent a little time looking for body changes, and really very little has been done exterior-wise. Only front and rear bumpers, and sill panels are different - not much more than a body kit in fact. I'm pretty certain they've been very clever with the new lamps to allow same bonnet to be used - that extra, pointed part of the lamp housing intrudes into present bumper space, rather than metalwork. Didn't get to see under-bonnet, so don't know about shut panel, or exact placing of lights, but would think it might have been possible to fit them... don't know. But I'll bow to Rog's knowledge.

Was also wondering about these stiffening bars - first impression (and I only saw the rear ones), is that they'd be a pretty easy retro-fit: a little welding would be all. They have to be easily removeable for engine access, anyway. Would have been a great option to do at same time as 60K service, with engine dropped for belt changes. Oh well, expect the bank manager will be happier without it.

Interior is absolutely straight MK 2 as far as I know: that centre console, tweeters in doors, and speakers in the T-bar.


Click to enlarge

Front views of Ed's MGF VVC (right) and the new MG TF 160 (left), showing the distinctive new nose and lamps.

Click to enlarge

Rear three quarter view: from this angle the two cars look remarkably similar don't you think?

Click to enlarge

MG TF (foreground) showing some interior detail. Overall the new car's interior is nearly identical to a late MY2000 model MGF, with the exception of some new colours and trim material options.

And how dirty is my car? And yes, that green is completely stunning, isn't it?

I'm v impressed.