2003 MG ZT 260 V8 review and pictures

Posted on Saturday, 7 October 2006 , 11:10:13 byEmil

Filed under MG

MG ZT 260 V8

The ZT 260 is a fully engineered evolution of the front-wheel drive ZT. The challenge of the MG was to transform the driver platform and pack a large capacity V8 engine into the existing front-wheel drive vehicle. Advanced computer techniques were used to package the new hardware without sacrificing the strengths of the established ZT platform. The model uses a TR3650 five-speed transmission to deliver the power to the wheels. The ZT 260 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that is used in North America to power the iconic Ford Mustang. The MG engineers have also developed new intake, exhaust and emissions control systems to ensure the vehicle complies with stringent European noise legislation with no loss of power or torque.

The ZT 260 is a fully engineered evolution of the front-wheel drive ZT. New installation techniques have permitted the larger capacity engine and rear-wheel drive power-train to be incorporated within the robust bodyshell, without major visual changes. Below the skin the platform is largely new with significant changes to many functional vehicle systems to accommodate the revised drive-line layout, to produce a car of great driving character.

Design and Development
The development engineers were briefed to deliver the ultimate antidote to an anodyne world. The challenges involved in transforming the drive platform and packaging a large capacity V8 engine into the existing front-wheel drive vehicle should not be underestimated. Advanced computer techniques were used to package the new hardware without sacrificing the strengths of the established ZT platform.

Given the magnitude of the changes, it is no surprise that ZT has been extensively tested, seeing action in climates ranging from the bitterly harsh conditions of the Swedish winter through to the burning heat of high speed testing in Arizona and Australia.

Transmission

ZT 260 features Tremec's TR3650 five-speed manual gearbox, manufactured in North America. The unit has been extensively modified to meet MG's needs and features unique gearing to suit the demands of European driving. MG's engineers have also developed an all-new gear selection system and bespoke hydraulic clutch actuation to ensure precise and positive gear changes.

Powertrain
The ZT 260 utilises Ford's proven 4.6-litre V8 engine, widely used in North America to power the iconic Ford Mustang. Modifications have been made to the powertrain to assist in packaging the engine while MG's engineers have also developed new intake, exhaust and emissions control systems to ensure the vehicle complies with stringent European noise legislation with no loss of power or torque. A new electronic engine calibration helps ensure the car exceeds current European emissions legislation.

The exhaust system, twinned for most of the length of the car, is distinguished by new quad-tailpipes. Outside the system produces a classic V8 burble, while inside the cabin remains quiet until aroused by the throttle when it resounds to the sporting note of a true thoroughbred.

Interior Environment

A new HEVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning) unit is fitted to the ZT 260. The new unit is a water-blend design featuring a dedicated electronic control unit to drive servo-motor valves to regulate the water flow around the heating circuit. This system has been refined to offer similar levels of response and control to the existing ZT's acclaimed air-blending system. All models feature ATC (Automatic Temperature Control), using the familiar user-friendly interface of other ZT models.

A discreet V8 badge in the centre of the fascia differentiates the interior of the car, while other aspects of the cabin environment are broadly similar to the existing ZT models.

The ZT 260 will initially be offered first in the UK, then progressively across export markets.

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Car specs

MG ZT 260 V8