MGF and MGTF Rear Light Options

Words and Pictures: Rob Bell

Many are more than delighted with the standard rear lamp design found on the MGF and TF, and if I am honest, I happen to be one of them.

The stunning 1985 concept car, the MG EX-E, previewed some of the styling ideas later employed on the 1995 MGF, particularly around the rear end of the car: look at the light clusters and note the boot-lid vents above the light clusters... look familiar?
While some may regard the design as being a little 'Japanese' in style (and remember that the MGF was designed during the days of close collaboration between Rover Group and Honda), I believe that the design is neat, coherent and has echoes of earlier MG concepts - most notably, the MG-EXE, pictured opposite.

But as we all know, owning an MG is all about individuality - and now we can express this in the choice of rear light clusters we fit to our cars. Over the last couple of years, on the back of the styling developments at Toyota for their Lexus models, we have seen an explosion of 'Lexus' style rear lamp clusters for a wide variety of cars, most recently including the MGF and TF ranges.

In fact, not just one but many styles of lights are available, as we shall see...

Rear Lamp Options

Original MGF

The original style of MGF light cluster hardly needs introduction, but is pictured opposite right. The smoked section in the upper half of the cluster hides the reverse and side-indicator lamps. A very neat and tidy design, which is very contemporary to the time that the MGF was launched.

Original MG TF

When the TF was launched in 2002, clearly MG-Rover felt it fitting to make some change to the rear light clusters. Whether they felt that the original MGF items were hard to beat, or whether it simply wasn't worth the expense in re-tooling for new rear lamps, the rear light clusters are practically identical to those fitted to the original car, with the exception that instead of the upper section being smoked, they are now clear. Whether this represents much of an improvement is up to you, but the two styles fitted to the MGF and TF are interchangeable between the models, so you can pick and choose should you wish to.

The B&G Smoked rear light lenses

One of the first variants of rear light cluster was launched by Brown and Gammons back in around 1999. Not changing the basic formula, the B&G clusters (part number BGF923), were simply smoked versions of the original. This resulted in quite an impact on the rear of the car. How much this 'smoke-effect' alters light outputs however, is unclear.

The Mike Satur Quad Lamp

Mike has never done anything conventionally - which is why so many appreciate his products so much! His solution for something unique in the rear lighting department resulted in the quad lamp unit which completely alters the character of the rear of the car, as can be appreciated from the image opposite. The lamp units themselves are lifted from the Fiat coupe (which interestingly were also employed by MG Rover much later for the MG SV and SVR) mounted in a glass fibre mounting unit designed to fit into the standard light aperture.

If that's not original enough for you, it is useful to know that the lamp units are Fiat coupe, because that means that you can buy Fiat styling items to modify the Mike Satur units further. Julian Foulger found that Heller LED units (purchase from WS Styling in Germany) fitted perfectly without modification - and looks stunning, particularly on Julian's silver car, as can be seen opposite.

More pictures of Julian's efforts here.

And if you don't like to see the panel gaps, then you can blend them into the existing body work. This was first done, I think, by Erik in Belgium (, and this picture comes from Erik's website and shows David Peters' car.

You'll note another subtle modification here too. Inspired by the MG SV/SVR rear light clusters that were embellished with silver finishers, modifiers have started fitting these silver rings around the lamps - these are available from European based tuning companies, and also from eBay. Personally I think that they add a degree of class!

Lexus Style Lamps

When researching this, I thought that the market could only support one manufacturer, so I was quite surprised to find not just one, but three different manufacturers: Ultra, TP performance and MHW/ABCDesign. All three designs are very similar, although TP Performance and the MHW/ABCDesign are all but identical, leading me to wonder whether these two are actually supplied by a third party... Having not sampled these products first hand, it is impossible to recommend one manufacturer over another - I'd recommend checking each option out and see which of the three you prefer before spending your hard earned cash on a set.

Oh, and if having three manufacturers producing almost identical products weren't confusing enough, there are two design types available - the 4-Lens 'Lexus' style and the 3-Lens 'Pro-design' style (at least the latter appears unique to Ultra).

4-Lens 'Lexus' lamps

The lamps pictured opposite are the Ultra versions of the 4-lens 'Lexus' theme. As can be seen, these are available with either a black or silver backing - the latter more in keeping with the Lexus concept, the latter perhaps more inspired by the Ford Puma.

These units (part number RV60L69S for the black units and RV60L69 for the silver items) retail for between 100-160 quid per pair, and are E-marked and therefore legal for use in the UK. I'd advise shopping around as there is quite a lot of variation in prices on the internet - and this applies to the other makes of light clusters too.

Like all three variants of this 4-lens style, the silver coloured lens hides the indicator assembly, with the red reflector in its centre.

The alternative 4-Lens 'Lexus' lamps

If you are struggling to spot the difference between the lamps shown opposite and those above, join the club! Perhaps the most noticeable difference is with the black units. Unlike the Ultra variety shown above, the items produced by TP Performance (and it seems, ABCDesign) have a silver ring around the individual lenses, which I think makes for a more classy look. If I were in the market for this style of light, these would be the ones I'd probably go for.

Part numbers for the TP Performance clusters are PRL3107 for the black units, and PRL3106 for the silver.

Part numbers for the MHW/ABCDesign units are RO-MGF-TL-BL for back and RO-MGF-TL-CHL for silver.

3-Lens 'Pro-design' Lexus-style Lamps

The 3-lamp design appears to be exclusive to Ultra (but I suspect that I'll be proven wrong shortly - do let me know!) - and feature an attractive three-lens set, the centre one incorporating an outer reflector ring, and the centre combining both indicator and reverse lamps.

Again these are available in black and silver (part numbers RV60L66S and RV60L66 respectively) - the former, in my eyes, looks stunning. However, I do know that there are both smoked and red-tinted versions of these (the latter I've seen referred to as 'red diamond') - although I have not yet found the part numbers for either of them. If you happen to know the details of these, please do let me know!