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Statistics

How much? £16,399
On sale in the UK: September 2008
Engine: 1796cc 4-cyl, 133bhp @ 6750rpm, 122lb ft @ 5000rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 8.4sec 0-62mph, 124mph, 35.8mpg, 185g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1105kg /steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3943/1628/1261
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Handling

Rated 4 out of 54

Performance

Rated 3 out of 53

Usability

Rated 3 out of 53

Feelgood factor

Rated 4 out of 54

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

MG TF LE500 (2008) CAR review

By Guy Bird

First Drives

29 August 2008 09:38

You can buy a British-made MG again. The TF LE500 – a heavily re-worked special edition of the well-loved original sportscar – is now rolling off Longbridge’s production lines for £16,399, packed with extras like leather seats and iPod compatibility, plus EU4 engine emissions compliancy. The 500-run limited edition is already 80 percent sold and more importantly, it spearheads the start of a whole new MG range, more of which later…

But should I care about the new MG TF? Isn’t this just a motor with mid-90s roots re-heated for 2008?

Yes and no. At a glance it’s clearly very similar to the TF car that died when MG Rover collapsed just a few years back, but there are significant changes. It’s got a smarter new nose with a bright grille mesh, bigger 16-inch alloys wheels as standard, a de rigueur piano black lacquer interior fascia, neat new driver dials and a Pioneer stereo with iPod cable in the glovebox.

Pick the flat orange with black alloys, and the black soft-top from the six new colour options and the car looks far from ‘old news’. And as the car is launching in the autumn MG has also thrown in a hardtop as standard.

The changes aren’t just cosmetic either. The suspension and brakes have been updated and the engine re-worked to meet new emissions regulations while keeping the perky performance intact.

Surely the driving experience is off the pace?

In terms of refinement, compared to a current Mazda MX-5, yes, but in terms of overall enjoyment it’s still genuinely great fun to drive. The chunky steering wheel feels right and gives reassuringly direct feedback, the mid-engined layout assists the solid feeling of the car through quick twisty lanes and 0-62mph from the plucky 134bhp 1.8-litre seems – and sounds – way more exhilarating than more powerful cars.

Click 'Next' below to read more of our MG TF LE500 first drive

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MG TF LE500 (2008) CAR review

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supercarrambler

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supercarrambler says

RE: MG TF LE500 (2008) CAR review

When are they going to reproduce the Ambassador, it too would look nice with matt black wheels and orange paintwork and pitch at the Passat Market

03 November 2008 20:14

 

a t o m i c

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a t o m i c says

RE: MG TF LE500 (2008) CAR review

In English, please?

01 September 2008 16:32

 

-Joe-

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-Joe- says

RE: MG TF LE500 (2008) CAR review

Have you seen their website. Had a look to see what the other colours were liek. Fornt page is also bang up to date liek the car. Good so far. It does; the orange one with black wheels and hard top(find it on their site) it does look superb. I was ready to slate it and say why don't you but form the gretaest: Mazda and purchase thir MX-5, but I'm not. I hope they survive. One thing worried me the 'e-store' is coming soon'......

29 August 2008 14:00

 

JohnnyBimmer

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JohnnyBimmer says

RE: MG TF LE500 (2008) CAR review

I saw an MG-F in black yesterday coming toward me. It looked bang up to date and very modern (may have had a new paint job!). That may say as much for the competitors (MX5 right up to Boxster) that haven't moved the game on 1 iota in the past 5 years as much for the timelessness of the MG-F but I can't knock it on looks.

29 August 2008 13:30

 

resis

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resis says

RE: MG TF LE500 (2008) CAR review

As a former owner of the original MG-F, I'll always have a soft spot for this car - I really liked it back then. I'd take an MX5 tin-top convertible now though......

29 August 2008 11:48

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