December 10, 2023

MG Xpower SV

Overview and Reason for posting: Many moons ago I was excited with everything MG had to offer and one such car was the XPower SV. I ordered the car on launch at the


Birmingham Motor Show with a £1000 deposit and then subsequently cancelled as the price increased exorbitantly. Needless, to say I bought No115 from the administrators when MG went into receivership. As I recall the price was £44,950, which I thought was fair for a Carbon Fibre shelled one-off. After 18 months of ownership and 5000 miles I parted company and replaced it with a BMW 335D, the car was underwritten by Elite Autos and I believe the trade-in with Dick Lovett Swindon was £29k. Why did I sell, I wanted perfection, and it wasn’t giving me the feel good feeling I craved and expected? I had a few minor niggles with the car which and as I fully admit I suffer from OCD and the these niggles didn’t help, all of which I can say were mostly rectified. See below, the only items that could not be fixed were the window closing and self cancellation of indicators.

Furthermore,  I sold the wrong MG first, only because it was very saleable, the 6R4 and this one had to go after. I should have kept the 6R4, such is life. Anyway, imagine my surprise when I saw it advertised and then up for Auction this week.

The auction reserve was £38-44k, which I thought was ambitious. However, the auction has now just closed and it very nearly reached the figure (£36k). I wouldn’t want to admit to my partner, but today, not withstanding the “minor niggles” I would consider repurchasing the car, but for something nearer I sold it for. Yes, there are people, usually SV owners who say they are worth much more, I personally don’t think so, as there is very little support in the real world for these cars and parts supply could become prohibitive.

Anyway the auction house selling the car has a brilliant description of the car and I have pasted it here. If you are interested in the car and have an interest in the SV the description is fantastic and worth a read. I would suggest contacting them here if you are interested in the car regardless of the auction outcome: CLICK HERE! NB: Not reposted the detail of the car here (suggest you visit the web site).

During my tenor I modified the car slightly and had the following issues (as I recall).

  • Couldn’t refuel the car, the fuel stations holsters would time out – cause twisted filler hose corrected by Sport & Racing (SnR).
  • SnR fitted the Aero Pack (Diffuser and Splitter).
  • Brake Light failure (intermittent). Identified by a following driver who was very concerned. Corrected by SnR.
  • Indicator cancellation proved somewhat problematic with the MOMO factory steering wheel fitted (no correction executed).
  • Poor quality radio replaced with a quality Pioneer head unit (now I believe an Alpine, which is even better).
  • Drivers and Passenger windows would not close fully if attempted while on the move. Had to be done stationary with door open (as I recall).
  • The small bonnet aperture started to detach from the front hinge (SnR reglued – they called it blue mud).
  •  One of the Hella Drive lights had to be replaced, lense broken on the run to LeMans.
  • Screens tinted, including sun strip..
  • One OZ front wheel replaced after curbing the chrome finishing strip (wheel supplied by David Appleby Engineering).
  • Advanced telemetry had to be disabled to save the battery from discharging (Completed by SnR).
  • Replacement front windscreen.
  • EML illumination and sorted by SnR.

Very useful link for information on the XPower SV:

Description from Car & Classic website

It’s often said if you’re going to go out, then you go out with a bang. As a last-minute ditch to bring a rapidly declining MG Rover back in line to its original philosophy, MG Rover decided to get themselves a fully developed front-engined sports car that had already been homologated for the US market. Now as a company that was precariously selling a number of outdated family cars, it could almost be compared to someone deciding to ignore the boring but important bit of a film and fast forward to watch the glorious but doomed ending…

Let’s try and make sense of this fascinating story of the MG Xpower SV. To understand the car’s background, and how this project took off let us go back to the original car.  Dealing with Italian companies was nothing new for MG Rover, having forged a connection with styling schools Pininfarina and Michelloti in the ’60s. There was also an agreement with De Tomaso in the ’70s to produce BL cars under the Innocenti badge in Italy. It’s this connection with De Tomaso that forms the basis of the MG XPower.

The MG Rover management, aware of the costs and development of putting a high-priced sports into production, had snapped up an opportunity to use a ready-built prototype, employ the skills of Peter Stevens to restyle the car and get it ready for sale within three years. Starting life as the De Tomaso prototype called the Biguá, the 4.6 Litre Ford Mustang powered open-top car debuted at the 1996 Geneva Motor show. Guided by Kjell Qvale, who was well known within British motoring circles for having both bought out Jensen in 1970 and importing Subarus as part of the International Motors Limited, Kjell Qvale saw the potential in the Biguá for export in the US. It was renamed the Mustang for production but it struggled to sell and less than 300 found homes.

MG Rover also saw potential in the concept, and subsequently bought out Qvale and his car, with the intention of using the platform for an MG supercar. The idea was to rival the XK-R Jaguar with ambitious plans to produce 10,000 cars a year. Marketed as a racer rather than a cruiser, the restyled car was badged as the XPower SV. Offering blistering performance, with the capability of high states of tuning it was released for sale in 2004 to an interested public.

However by this time MG Rover was in serious trouble, and the question of producing a high-end sports car for a limited market instead of designing a replacement for their ageing series of family cars joined the long list of bizarre but well-intentioned decisions that had coloured in the organisations’ history. As stated in the first sentence, the frivolous but imaginative project was clearly a good piece of PR, but at £82,000 for the top-end version, one has to think what planet was the management on? MG Rover folded just a year after the launch of the car, resulting in just 82 being produced. Two original versions were available, both with Ford Mustang engine – the original SV with the 4.2-litre unit, or the later 5.0-litre 32V model.

Update: 3 September 2020: The second owner is auctioning this car for between £38-44k, link here. The listing has many more photos and a sheath of invoices the second owner has accumulated. Looks to be in good condition, only detrimental aspect is the front splitter doesn’t look even below the carbon fibre. Would I like to own it again, maybe I would but at a much lower price than the suggested price. As of writing the latest bid is £36,000, with hours to go.

11 September 2018: The pictures below are of an MG SV I owned for around 18 months in 2005.

MG XPower SV

Retail Price
XPower SV 320 manual65,750.00
XPower SV-R 385 manual82,950.00
XPower SV-R 385 automatic84,950.00
OptionsRetail Price
Standard paint finishNo charge
Metallic paint finish1,000.00
Supertallic paint finish1,500.00
Kinetic paint finish2,000.00
Chromactive and chromescent paint finishes5,000.00
Paint to special orderPOA
Rear wing2,000.00
Delete rear wingNo charge
Side air vents – alloy finish500.00
Side air vents – body colour finish500.00
Side air vents – carbon finish1,000.00
MG-style alloy wheels1,500.00
Climate Control Air Con2,200.00
All-leather Recaro seats1,200.00
All-Alcantara Recaro seats500.00
Electrically heated & ventilated Recaro seats400.00
Carbon shell all-leather Recaro seats (no height adjustment)2,900.00
Carbon shell all-Alcantara Recaro seats (no height adjustment)2,900.00
Sports Momo leather steering wheel450.00
Sports Momo suede steering wheel450.00
Coloured seat belts150.00
Centre console to body or special colour500.00
Leather headlining500.00
Sports XPower gear knob90.00
Internal rear storage bins750.00
Dedicated sill tread plates (owner’s name or insignia)300.00
Exhaust headers (+20hp)1,600.00
Track Day’ exhaust (105dB)1,200.00
Basic audio system (CD/tuner & six Infinity speakers)250.00
Multi-disc CD autochanger600.00
Alpine CDA-9811R head unit upgrade450.00
Becker Monza head unit upgrade550.00
Becker TrafficPro Satellite Navigation1,550.00
Digital photographic build record150.00
Footwell mats150.00
Seatbelt shoulder pads90.00
XPower fire extinguisher100.00
Warning triangle25.00
First aid kit50.00
Rechargeable torch40.00
Roadside lamp50.00
Trickle charger50.00