New Chinese owner NAC has announced a price bombshell for its revised MG TF: it's going to cost more than a Mazda MX-5. The new company, called NAC MG UK Ltd, today revealed that the MG TF LE500 would cost £16,399 when it goes on sale in September 2008. The cheapest MX-5 1.8, meanwhile, costs £15,750.
In fairness to the TF, it will at first come in a single, well equipped model complete with a body-coloured hardtop, leather sports seats, parking sensors and a piano black interior, but there's no mistaking this roadster's provenance. And it still smacks of 1995, the year the MG F was first launched.
Surely it's not been in a time capsule... What's new on the MG TF LE500?
The TF has a revised engine slung amidships – a 16-valve 1.8 mustering 134bhp, making it marginally more powerful than the MX-5 equipped with a similar powerplant.
'Competitively priced,' you say?
NAC MG's sales and marketing director, Gary Hagen, doesn't agree with CAR's view that the TF could only succeed if it carried a bargain basement price tag just nudging into five figures. 'We are delighted to be able to bring in such a highly specified car at such a reasonable price. When you consider the level of specification that comes with the LE500, the package is extremely competitive.
'When it was last available, the MG was the UK’s best-selling small sports car. We are confident that the indicated demand for the return of the marque from dealers, enthusiasts and most importantly new customers will see it reclaim that position.'
We somehow worry that they might be waiting some time...