The MGF was in production from 1995 until 2002. Styled in house, it is a mid-engine, rear wheel drive sports car seating two adults.
Developed on a budget, the MGF is loosely based around the Rover Metro parts bin, using two adapted front subframes mounted back to back, with the steering controlled by the front subframe and the engine mounted midships in the rear one. This meant a new power steering system was needed as it was impossible to run the pump from the engine – electric power steering was invented initially for this car. Available from launch with a 1.8 litre version of Rover’s K series either with or without variable valve control, Rover also added a smaller 1.6 and the CVT Steptronic to the range following a minor facelift for 1999. MG replaced the F with the TF for 2002, as following the end of Metro production it wasn’t cost effective to continue to produce the Hydragas suspension displacers which the MGF inherited from its Metro heritage. Its replacement would utilise coil springs.
Most desirable are cars with VVC, especially the limited edition Trophy 160 specification. Steptronic cars are a curiosity but not one which will result in increased values, given that the majority of F customers like to change their own gears. The optional hard top is desirable, but bear in mind you’ll need somewhere to store it if you want to enjoy the car with the hood down in summer. A total of 77269 MGFs were produced across a seven year lifespan.
Alternatives to the MGF then and now would include the Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Kompressor and BMW Z3, though its closest rival by far was the Mazda MX-5. Available as a 1.6 and 1.8 litre the small Mazda’s range was closely mirrored by that of the MGF, while mid engined alternatives would include the Toyota MR2. The subsequent MG TF would also be worth considering provided you could live with the revised looks and the revival of coil springs. If you want an older car which serves a similar purpose, consider the MGB.
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