After a series of twists, turns, delays and wildly ambitious claims more akin to a Miss Marple whodunnit, MG has finally built its first TFs at the Longbridge plant in the West Midlands. We've seen the first TF LE500 models at Longbridge and we hear they will be in dealers soon, priced at around £16,000.
What's changed since the last 2005 cars? These early pre-prototypes look virtually unchanged, but now come with a body-coloured hard-top, leather seats, air-con and improved interior plastics as standard.
The cars pictured here have the new standard-fit glass rear screen, wind deflector, 16in alloys in shadow chrome or satin-black finish and the new piano black interior trim and revised dials. But we can't help feeling that the reborn MG will need more than just a three-year/60,000-mile warranty to tempt buyers into showrooms...
You bet. MG desperately needs all-new product!
And guess what's lurking in the background of one of our shots inside Longbridge? A suspicious-looking speedster-style sports car.
It's hard to make out from the picture resolution quality, but it appears to be wearing the MG octagon and a decidedly modern front end, with a squarish snout and rakish new headlamps.
Is it a leftover from Longbridge's MG Rover heyday? Or an all-new speedster being tested by the company's new Chinese owners? We're not sure at this stage...
With thanks to aronline.co.uk for additional reporting