- MG TF LE500, 2008
The MG TF LE500, a profoundly re-engineered version of the last TF to be produced in the Midlands in 2005, boasts a host of improvements that have bought the new car up to date and equipped the new MG to regain its long held position as the best selling sports car in Britain.
With numerous technical and cosmetic innovations the MG TF LE500 comes with a new N series engine, a new interior, revamped exterior styling and updated suspension, and braking systems. Whilst maintaining the fundamental look and feel of the immensely popular TF, the LE500 has been completely re-engineered, with the assistance of the company's research, design and development department in Leamington Spa.
Building on the strengths of MG's 84 year pedigree and the popularity of the TF, the MG TF LE500 has already gained plaudits for its superior build quality, specification and finish. It is the specification of the new car that will set it apart from its rivals, as the LE package includes many of the optional extras available on former generations with a number of contemporary additions.
As you approach the car, the difference in styling is immediately obvious with a new look for the grille and bumper. The reshaping is designed to be more sympathetic to the overall look of the TF with more finesse and shape than its predecessor.
The MG TF LE500 comes in a range of six new colours with a body colour matched hard top as standard. The hard top benefits from a glass rear window which means winter motoring is much more comfortable, whilst maintaining the flexibility of enjoying the soft top in summer.
As you sit in the car the environment exudes quality. The piano black trim, leather upholstery and chrome detail give the cabin a retro feel. MG has worked hard to maintain levels of comfort and finish that will make the new MG appeal to the widest spectrum of drivers.
As you recline in the leather sports seats the wheel and controls sit easily at hand and the redesigned instruments add to the overall feel that you are sitting in an authentic British Sports car. The previously analogue instrument pack has been replaced with an electronic control pack, giving the car more functionality and a great look.
Between the seats is the unique 500 LE badging, a detail that completes a highly specified, exclusive but most of all fundamentally MG interior.
New N Series Engine
The only mid-engined sports car in its class, the LE 500 is engineered to deliver a thoroughbred British sports car driving experience. So it comes equipped with a new Variable Valve Control N series engine. This EU4 compliant 1.8 litre 135 ps power pack will push the MG LE500 from 0-60 in 8.3 seconds and give it a top speed of 127mph//205km/h.
The N series engine has a newly designed multi layered steel cylinder head gasket and an upgraded oil rail, that allows an increase in the clamping load, and an enhanced cooling system; all improvements that result in a much more robust engine.
Steering, Suspension & Brakes
The MG TF LE500 inherits the upgraded suspension of the most recent TF but benefits from a modified steering geometry, a new coil spring and damper suspension and a multi link rear axle to give the new car improved white lining and bump steer resulting in a more assured ride.
Up-graded brakes house a four pot system with vented discs that stop the car much faster, complementing the new suspension set up and emphasising the sports car handling and feel.
Handling and Feel
The re-engineering of the key driving components of the new MG TF LE500 delivers a mid-engined sports car that is the epitome of the marque's legendary passion for fun as well as a rewarding road driving experience. The handling of the car offers levels of driver involvement that not only connect you with the road but that make the new car a practical and suitable choice for year round driving. This mix is specifically aimed at customers looking to get back some of the exhilaration that has been lost from this class of affordable sports car.
Highly specified for better value
The specification of this car is a final element that will make it appeal to the value conscious consumer it is designed to woo. To select a few elements from the long list you will find; Pioneer audio setup with MP3, twin airbags, air conditioning, passive engine immobilisation with a perimetric alarm, rear parking sensors ABS brakes and speed sensitive power assisted steering.
Technology Manager for MG UK Ltd, Brett Riley, concludes; "At launch the MG TF LE500 is the only mid-engined small sports car in its class, a fact that combines with the improvements and impressive specification to make it a hard package to beat. We designed the new MG TF LE500 to have the kind of mass appeal that the brand needs to break back into a tough section of the car market at a challenging time. It delivers classic MG appeal in spades and we can't wait to see what our customers feel when they are able to get behind the wheel of this completely re-engineered version of Britain's most popular sports car."