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MGF Published: 18th Oct 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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No, it’s not that often-used expletive! And this modern MG is a worthy successor to the MGB that a lot more enthusiasts are now positively swearing by...

Why it’s a winner

MGF is the sportster MG fans had to wait nearly 20 years for, and one which has increasingly taken the place of the evergreen MGB in classic car circles, especially with younger enthusiasts. And rightly so because, thanks to its advanced design with engaging yet fail safe mid-engined handling, crisp K-Series engines and a civilised cockpit, it’s everything you could wish for in a modern classic that’s astonishingly cheap to buy!



1995 Launched after a long wait and using a development of the Allegro’s novel Hydragas suspension system plus an electricallyoperated power steering option the MGF was MG’s first mid-engined car. Powering the F was the vivacious Rover K-Series engine, stretched to 1.8-litres in standard tune 120bhp or 145bhp in VVC (Variable Valve Control) form.

1998 The optional power steering is now standardised. An influx of special editions start to surface to boost sales such as the Abingdon, SE and Freestyle.

2000 A light revise, includes a more traditional wood-trimmed cockpit. Mechanically, the CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) concept called Servotronic that allowed manual changes was offered (although it was never very popular).

2001 That spring, a new 160bhp flagship Trophy version is launched. The Hydragas suspension was cleverly modified; ride height lowered by 20mm with competitionstyle springs and dampers fitted in tandem with the gas suspension, while AP racing brakes were also installed. A sweet and fairly speedy 1.6-litre entry model was propped up the range. CVT transmission was upgraded to accept semi-automatic steering wheel-mounted buttons, and renamed Stepspeed (yet still unpopular).

2002 In February, after 42,000 UK sales, the MGF was no more. In its place came the similar-styled TF (a name dating back to the 1950’s roadster) complete with a new nose and – chiefly – an entirely new chassis layout that did away with the old Allegro underpinnings in favour of (originally overfirm) orthodox springs and shock absorbers.



MG may have been away from the sports car scene for almost 20 years, but it certainly kept abreast with the times and its engineers knew what modern enthusiasts demanded when they developed the MGF.

Allegro suspension? Don’t laugh, retuned for sports car use, it works extremely well with this mid-engine layout, providing an amazing ride for such a hard core sports car. Another surprise is the MGF’s user-friendliness. Mid-ship chassis layouts are usually quite unforgiving when pushed hard through corners, but this simply isn’t so here so long as good quality tyres are fitted (lacking in so many alas).

The later TF is, overall, an improvement and certainly the conventional suspension is easier to maintain and fix, but the ride on very early cars was a disappointment after the serene Hydragas set up. It was quickly cured and retro fitting kits are available.


Best models

Good ones! Thanks to the varying standards out there, with a rumoured 100 per month landing on the scrap heap, the car’s solidarity needs to be placed above trim level and so on. The Trophy is the most exhilarating with the VVC second best. The autos we’d steer clear of unless you really need a self-shifter because they are not an efficient or satisfying set up and are also invariably horrendously expensive to repair.



Average cars can be had for beer money while essentially decent cars can be found from a grand, but both will usually be hiding some expensive problems. The sensible money seems to start around £2000–for a private sale or closer to £4000 from the trade; some specialists are now selling fully refurbished and warranted MGFs for around £5000. LE 500 is only model that may have some classic value and late plate cars can fetch up to £11,000. On all, the optional hard top can add £500 to a car.



Along with the Toyota MR2 and the Mazda MX-5, the MGF is a modern classic just right for the younger car enthusiast – and the Brit makes as good a choice as any of those Oriental offerings and at less cost.

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